Friday, July 4, 2008

LTP Teacher Workshops, Round Two

On Monday through Thursday of this week, we held another round of LTP teacher workshops. The difference this time, though, was that there were about forty teachers in attendance instead of eight. Katie, Elena, and Wendy ran the workshops while we students came at specific times each day to help train the teachers in planning and shooting as well as to discuss in detail their plans for using LTP in their individual classrooms. Throughout the four days, the teachers participated in various classic LTP assignments including reading photographs, the alphabet project, and the dreams project. They used digital, film, and Polaroid cameras. Like during the first workshops, we were visited by some local press. In June, a photo from the workshop was printed in a local paper (the Arusha Times) and this time, an article was printed in ThisDay. The author of the article was clearly confused about a few aspects of LTP, but it was certainly publicity in a positive light. I'll work on getting the newspaper stuff posted on here.

Despite a lot of struggles with the language barrier, the teachers were clearly excited about using LTP in their classrooms. Many of them attended LTP workshops that were held here in Arusha last year, and all of the teachers in my group had used LTP in some way in their classroom since then. I asked one of my teachers how doing an exercise with photographs in his classroom had gone, and he answered, "It was fantastic." Most of them see resources as the largest barrier to implementing LTP on a larger scale, which is certainly a valid concern considering many of the government school teachers have over 100 children in their classes at one time. At the end of the workshop, the each teacher filled out a survey to indicate how we can best help him or her make teaching LTP a reality in his or her classroom.

Also, on Wednesday through Friday of this week, we continued teaching at Arusha School but we taught new classes and switched around our teaching groups a bit. Minette and I taught a standard five class (ages 10 and 11) and did a dreams project. On Wednesday, we did a reading photographs exercise in which we handed out pictures of previous LTP students' dreams and asked our students to first list details in their picture, then write about what the photographer's dream might have been. On Thursday, they drew a picture of a dream they had had and then went out in groups of five or six students (with one of us teachers) to take pictures of their dreams using film cameras. Finally, today, we returned their photos and asked them to write about their dream, their photo, and the connection between the two.

Tomorrow morning we are leaving for a safari during which we will visit, among other things, the Ngorongoro Crater and the oldest-found human remains (did you know that was in Tanzania?). Lots of pictures to come next week!

Oh, and happy July 4. It's more than a little strange to imagine the hamburger-eating and fireworks-shooting that is going on in America as we continue our work here.

The LTP teacher workshop, taken on the final day (Thursday). On the wall behind the teachers are their alphabet project posters, which have subjects including English, Swahili, Civics, Geography, Social Studies, and Science.

One of the teachers in my group shooting a photo with a film camera.

Me with part of my group of teachers examining some photos we took on a digital camera.

Baldeep showing a group of standard six students how to use the digital camera.

One of my standard five students shooting his dream photograph.

A group of my standard five students discussing the best background, frame, and point of view for a student's dream photo.

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