Why do we need an
integrated training program
for teachers who choose to
teach in underprivileged schools?
After 8 years of serving vulnerable communities in over 25 counties, Teach for Romania has identified a number of challenges that make the job of teachers in rural and peripheral areas much harder:
- The learning gap – children with a 1-to-2-year learning loss, children with poor vocabulary skills, who have never seen a book or held a pencil in their hand or who have never been read to;
- a large number of children with special learning needs are not diagnosed and adequately supported because neither parents, teachers nor other school staff can or know how to do so.
- children who have not been exposed to different learning opportunities, contexts and resources other than those within the family and community.
Beyond the challenges of supporting the learner to achieve the required academic performance to continue their education and to gain a qualification, the teacher serving vulnerable communities also manages issues around the child’s basic access to school, from lacking shoes and food to no school supplies.
The data confirms the day-to-day
reality in the communities we serve:
In 2019, Romania ranks 1st in the European Union regarding the risk of poverty and social exclusion among children, comprising around 35% of the population under 16.
What are the key features
of our training program?
For the majority of these children, whose access to relevant education is severely limited by poverty, illness and dropout, the only chance for a better future is a teacher who goes above and beyond than what we have been used to seeing so far in the public system.
They need teachers who make them feel seen, who offer unconditional acceptance and support, who see their potential, harnessing their extraordinary abilities in spite of their challenging background. All children need the teacher who strives to build a strong “village” around them, an entire community of change makers focused on growing healthy, confident, empowered children: parents, school teachers, specialists, local authorities, NGO supporters and corporate partners.
To succeed in making a difference, such people need special training and a community ready to support them to become transformational teaching leaders, acting as agents of change in the child’s ecosystem.
We start with our Summer Leadership Academy, a complex accelerated learning program, where, for 6 weeks, participants embrace the “Lasting-change starts from within” mindset, understanding that the impact of their hard work will be noticeable in their classrooms and their students’ communities.
They will attend teaching workshops and work on team assignments, conceptual blending, modelling and simulation, to then apply it all in their teaching practice working with students in an underprivileged school, training their capacity to learn how to learn and to transfer their skills into the real world.
The workshops also offer the participants standardized screening tools to be able to adjust and consolidate students’ learning (assessing literacy and social-emotional skills) and best practice models for managing systemic inequalities (literacy interventions for struggling readers, inclusion strategies for children with learning difficulties or who are victims of abuse, practical life skills programs and enhancing civic engagement through student leadership, effective fundraising strategies, etc.).
We offer individual support and differentiated instruction according to each teacher’s learning needs and the needs of the community they serve.