It all started in the kitchen of Gina Kirkpatrick, a Science and Maths teacher at the International School of Moshi (ISM-Arusha campus). Over beef burgers and beers, John Lane, a fellow teacher, talked about The Foundation for Tomorrow and what it does. John Lane was a volunteer teacher at Matonyok Parents’ Trust, one of TFFT’s partner orphanages, and remains one of its ardent supporters. Turned out Gina and their other ISM co-teachers had long been looking for a way to forge a closer connection with the local community.
That conversation culminated in a meeting with TFFT’s Melissa Queyquep and Joshua Nassari last Monday, 19th September. This time over coffee, TFFT and the “ISM 4“ discussed how they could work alongside each other particularly in the Teacher Training Program. All four teachers come with skills gained from years of teaching that the Teacher Training Program need—expertise that could enable our teachers to provide meaningful learning experiences to their students and enliven interaction in their classrooms. Kirkpatrick is a Science and Mathematics teacher in the secondary level, Shawna Spady and Lane are both teaching in the primary level, while Chelsea Koenigs teaches in the early years level. More meetings will take place in the next months to firm up plans but initially the group talked about teaching strategies for Science, Mathematics, and Reading both for primary and secondary levels as the most urgent topics.
Subject-based training has been in the drawing board of the Teacher Training Program for some time but for lack of resource persons who can help out gratis, this plan had to be shelved. Now that our teachers had been given the basics in the past workshops, this offer of help from the ISM teachers could not have come in a more opportune time.
During the meeting, the four were also given information about the other programs that TFFT run. Interest had been sparked as well in the Full Circle Program and plans are underway on how some of them could come and co-facilitate some of the Full Circle sessions.
It should be noted that this is not the first time that the Teacher Training Program had good Samaritans offering help. Cristina Claxton of Amani Children Center in Moshi also lent her support and expertise particularly in Special Needs Education in the first teacher training held last year. Indeed we are blessed to have found kindred spirits willing to offer their time and skills for the cause we are championing.