By Merritt Frey, Executive Director
Thanks to scores of teacher sponsors at the 2017 Soiree and some generous foundation support, Mali Rising's teachers are getting better all the time. And you know what that means? It means our STUDENTS are getting better all the time.
Our Teacher Project invests in our teachers because we believe they are critical to changing our students lives for the better. From training to peer meetings to teaching materials, we're trying to make a hard job just a little bit easier for our 90+ teachers.
One key aspect of the Teacher Project is our annual professional teacher training. People just like you sponsor a teacher for the year, and that includes sending them to this 5-day training.
We evaluate a sample of our teachers in classroom before each training. That information is used to 1) design a training that addresses what the teachers most need and 2) to measure improvement post-training. Several months after the training, we send expert trainers out to check in on the teachers again.
The results are in for our 2017 teacher training! We couldn't be happier. Overall, our teachers' skills improved by a whopping 23 percent, improving overall from a 58 percent average to an 82 percent average. But lumping things together always hides the interesting bits. Here's a few more details on what we found:
- Before the training, our sample pool of teachers' scores ranged from 25 percent to 83 percent. After the training, those scores ranged from 59 to 97 percent!
- The largest improvement in scores were in the area of providing active learning opportunities such as group work (62 percent improvement) and discussing ideas as a class (71 percent improvement).
- Positive reinforcement for good work and answers improved by 37 percent.
- There's always room for improvement however. We were disappointed to see that despite an entire day devoted to gender equity in the classroom, we actually saw scores on two questions related to girls' engagement drop by 8 to 9 percent.
Thank you to everyone who sponsored a teacher at the 2017 Soiree! You made this work possible and, as you can see, you have made a measurable difference. Just think: each teacher changes the lives of 100 to 200 students each year with their new skills ... thanks to you!
Learn more about the Teacher Project.