The Teachers of Ingrid Have a Teachable Spirit

» Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in teachable spirit | 0 comments

The Teachers of Ingrid Have a Teachable Spirit

Why are the instructors of Ingrid Education Centre so special? Why do they have such a teachable spirit? What motivates them to provide education to the children of the Kayole/Matopeni slums of Nairobi?

Following my short visit to Kenya in October of 2012, I was scheduled to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to one or more of the classes of the students of Ingrid in January 2013. ESL has long been my favorite subject to teach as I find students who want to learn this subject have such a teachable spirit, meaning that they are:

Douglas is introducing me to one of the classes of Ingrid, October 2012.

Douglas Monene introducing me to one of the classes of Ingrid, October 2012.

  • grateful
  • open
  • willing
  • committed

Teaching a student with these characteristics makes the task easy and enjoyable. Thinking about how I could make a stronger impact on the school, I had an epiphany one night. I should teach the teachers! Although I did have the opportunity in developing character in the children by teaching ESL to them as well as math, I knew that I could have the largest impact on the school population by educating the instructors.

October 2013: Lilian has been an instructor with Ingrid since its inception.

October 2013: Lilian has been an instructor with Ingrid since its inception.

Teaching the 200 underprivileged and orphaned children of Ingrid are instructors who are paid less than one-fourth of the standard salary for teachers in Nairobi. Having taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for thirteen years, I was truly impressed by the quality of the children’s English in spite of no textbooks, poor teaching materials, and the use of a primitive chalkboard and piece of chalk for classroom instruction. Motivated by their faith, these teachers have captured the vision that Douglas has instilled in them, desiring to operate from a scriptural perspective.

Participants in the professional development workshop I conducted in February 2013.

Participants in the professional development workshop I conducted in February 2013.

Complaining that they were missing church, the teachers reluctantly came to the workshop held at the Jimlizer Hotel in Buru Buru on February 2-3, 2013, finding to their delight that the main instruction manual was the Word of God! Delivering Bibles to each one of them was the first order of business on Friday evening. Proceeding to clarify and interpret God’s Word in relationship with our thinking, I encouraged them by highlighting the text in James 1:27,

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

Providing professional development for these instructors truly impacted their lives as well as their students, February 2013.

Providing professional development for these instructors truly impacted their lives as well as their students, February 2013.

By the end of our time together, I saw them:

  • visibly encouraged
  • feeling more dignified
  • uplifted
  • feeling more valued because of their work with the children of Ingrid

Desiring to learn seems to be the theme at Ingrid, whether students or instructors. Understanding intrinsically that education is the key to change, the teachers of Ingrid model a teachable spirit for the students, characterizing the kind of attitude that I have always found in ESL students. Understanding at the deepest level the value and impact of education, they are willing to make the personal sacrifices necessary to teach in this environment.

Douglas sitting with instructors of Ingrid Education Centre during an end term examination analysis meeting, April 2014.

Douglas Monene sitting with instructors of Ingrid Education Centre during an end term examination analysis meeting, April 2014.

In education, I like to call it,

cultivating autonomy by inspiring a collaborative learning environment.

What if you could inspire teachers to be empowered so that they could teach empowerment to their students? What impact on the world would you have by influencing the teachers who work in classrooms like Ingrid‘s? How would this affect the lives of under resourced children such as those in the Kimana Rift Valley of Kenya? What is the vision that Douglas Monene has instilled in the instructors of Ingrid? How is it similar to the vision of the Kimana School of Leadership and Professional Studies?

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