The joyful journey of transforming people’s lives | Impact story from Mary Nankya, Wellspring teacher trainer

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Quality education trainer Mary Nankya

Quality education trainer Mary Nankya

At Wellspring Foundation, people’s lives matter and come first. And, regardless of the huge amount of energy invested by our trainers in the development of teachers, school leaders, and the wider community of parents, the focus is always on ensuring that the people are empowered from the inside out and that their lives and communities are restored and transformed. In their regular interactions with teachers and head teachers within the framework of our School Development Program, our brave trainers share their experience and expertise with teachers and head teachers to ensure that best pedagogical attitudes and practices are not only acquired but that they are also multiplied and sustained. This covers areas like designing and using teaching aids properly, lesson planning, student’s behavior management, peer learning and teamwork, active participation, inclusive education, values integration, and students’ cognitive skills. However, our team always ensures that this support is never limited to the development of technical skills and the acquisition of knowledge. A real and deep inside out change from those being empowered is what makes this journey special. This is reflected in the story of Mary Nankya, one of our passionate teacher trainers. Mary has been a member of Wellspring Community since 2008 and she is one of the Wellspring staff who have enjoyed this transformational journey along with schools leaders, school teachers, and local government education officers in our Gasabo district program since its earlier stage. Mary believes that building vibrant relationships is core to any school program success. People’s relationships and lives come first. “Teaching aids, learning materials, time management, lesson planning are important quality education concepts. But I always resist the temptation to see them as an end. Our ultimate goal as trainers is to witness a genuine transformation of relationships between students and teachers, or a deep change of attitude from parents regarding their involvement in the education of their children”, Mary said. Mary describes some of the touching changes she has eye-witnessed in most of the schools Wellspring supports: “I am always full of joy whenever I see a child who has previously dropped out of school because of being beaten by a teacher but who willingly decides to go back to school because the teacher has learned to befriend students and to treat them with love and care. Our journey is about parents who didn’t care about the learning of their children but who have now changed their attitude and have become proactively involved in their learning by visiting the school regularly and by buying school materials for their children. It is about a child who use to fight and steal books or other school materials from other students but who has now adopted a positive behavior because of the values taught by our team. It is about a child who used to feel bored in a classroom because of the way subjects were taught but who is now regularly attending classes because learning has become sweet and agreeable. It is about a school leader who was unknown to students but who has now come to realize that observing students’ learning and building relationships with them are among the top priorities of a school leader. It is about a student who used to live in desperation and fear for the future but who now has a deep hope to succeed. It is about a school leader who resisted our program because he or she didn’t want to change his or her way of doing things but who is now championing because he or she witnessed from the peer learning the true transformation that happened in other schools. It is about a local government education officer who was suspicious about what we do but who is now eager to partner with us because of the remarkable impact of our investment in their communities and the schools they oversee” The journey has not always been easy or straightforward. Tough challenges and obstacles are still to be overcome, and many achievements are to be sustained. “All days are not the same. Sometimes we celebrate our success. Sometimes we learn to listen so that we can understand why we are facing resistance. And in all circumstances, we have come to understand that people’s lives matter and that our action should always start with building relationships that are conducive to great learning environment. Our priority should always be to restore broken families and to care for the people we support since it is always about people. And this is what makes Wellspring’s work great and always enjoyable” said the experienced trainer.
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