In June, I was in Guatemala, and I met in person the teachers of all 3 schools and some of the students TINFA works with. Greeting them monthly on Skype brings a new layer of connection. It is almost the end of the school year in Guatemala (October), yet the hunger for learning is still clearly there, for the teachers and for the students.
With TINFA, we focus on supporting the teachers. You might ask: "Why not skip the teachers?". After all, many of the students are as (if not more) comfortable in the use of applicable technologies than their teachers . The students are the ones we want to serve.
Well, we have all tried to learn something by ourselves. My last attempt was a course on Chinese origin and culture. With good intensions, having all the necessary prerequisites and excellent sources (edX.org), l lacked the structure, the emotional ties and motivation to finish it. I needed a teacher.
As the National Commission on Teaching & America's future's research found " an investment in professional development produces greater increases in student achievement than comparable investments in reducing class size, increasing salaries, and hiring more experienced teachers"
Students do and will always need the structure, the motivation, the emotional support , the rigor of the teacher to guide them in their learning. With TINFA, we focus on providing training to the teachers, training that is directly applicable in the classroom.