Just like the last blog post, this one also centers around Toa’s Friday workshops in which we dedicate the afternoon to our teaching staff’s professional development.

Last week, Ema led the group with two videos about different ways in which teachers go out of their way to get their pupils to relax and relate to them.

This week, Ema had an article I sent to him from ADDitude Magazine translated into Swahili so the group could discuss ADD and ADHD and how it affects some of the kids we work with in Kilimanjaro.

The article titled “Nudge, Don’t Nag” provides some great tips on how to motivate a child with ADD or ADHD to focus and actually accomplish some of the tasks he or she is meant to do in school including:

*Setting realistic goals

*Using cause/effect and if/then language

*Making work into a game

*Incorporating movement into sedentary classroom activities

*Praising effort over ability

Ema reported back that after this workshop, not only the teachers, but he himself had learned a lot about ADD and ADHD as well as how to help students (and parents and teachers) cope.  He also saw the direct link between the concepts discussed in this article to questions we ask in parent interviews to complaints from some of the schools about students’ behavior.

As the overseer of this whole Toa shebang, what’s gratifying to me about this exercise is that Ema imparted useful and practical knowledge to the teachers based on this piece and he himself as an administrator was able to see the correlation in a boring old article I found online with what we do on the ground in Moshi.  All of this should eventually trickle down to the kids we are trying to assist.  Win win win win.