God help us!
Last summer, when I first arrived with my group in country, we had to go through three months of very intensive training. We had almost no freedom and very little privacy; I thought I was going to lose my mind. So, this summer, I decided to do it again. This time however, I would be on the other side as a Facilitator.
In the role of Facilitator, we help the training staff prepare content for sessions, add color commentary in the form of stories from our experiences as Volunteers, and also provide moral support for the trainees who feel just as suffocated and overwhelmed as I did last year. My primary role for the time I was there was as an evaluator of the teachers during Model School. Model School is a chance for the Education volunteers to practice with actual classes of Burkinabe students who take the summer courses to prepare for the fall. I got to watch close to 40 hours of other people teaching various subjects to their classes.
While I can’t say how my evaluations were received by the trainees, I can say that I probably learned just as much as they did. It was a great experience observing other people and seeing what they do right and wrong, and thinking about how I can apply it to or change my style of teaching. Hopefully, this will help me to become a better teacher.
To add to the learning experience, I had a great time getting to meet the new trainees. They are extremely intelligent and talented and many of them are just out of college. I am hoping that a bit of their youth and enthusiasm can rub off on a salty old rogue like me.