I often lose sight of the bigger picture while going about the business of our work; when I walk into a classroom, I miss the tens of curious, smiling faces for the rigorous inspection of lesson plans, classroom management and time on task. I’m constantly looking for the improvements – how can the groups be managed better, can we set up the tablets more efficiently, why is there a spelling mistake in that poster?
That’s why weeks like these are incredibly refreshing for me. We had visitors in Katete! From Monday through Thursday, we welcomed supporter Elaine Brodsky and board member Diane Fusilli. After a wonderful few days in Livingstone, I got to experience our classrooms through the eyes of someone seeing our work for the first time. I was able to see their faces as we traveled through dusty roads and came upon one of our schools in the middle of nowhere. I was able to witness their delight as our first graders welcomed them to our classrooms with a very loud “Good morning, madam!”. I was completely absorbed as we all witnessed our three and four year old early childhood class learning about the number 2 in a dozen creative ways. We also had the privilege of observing two School Support Officers leading Guided Reading sessions and literally watching as kids learned how to read successfully. Caroline, our School Support Officer Supervisor, invited us into her home and taught us how to cook and wear chitenges. And, after all of those visits, Diane led our management team through an incredible storytelling and communication workshop. It was an absolute delight to hear our staff talk about the ways that Impact Network is changing the communities around them.
A huge thank you to Diane & Elaine for taking time out of their trip to visit us, and giving back to the communities that we serve – having you visit our projects means the world to us. And an even bigger thank you to the teachers, staff, and especially the students, who let us into their lives on a windy Tuesday.