A Focus On Teachers Update From Brits Academy
Brit’s Academy is off to a great start; our third year in operation for grades one-11 (but no third graders this year!). We have some new teachers for the secondary grades, our faithful teachers for the primary grades, and several new students from the community (all staff members’ children).
Our Program Director, Myster Way, reports that all of the children/teens are enthused about learning and love their new classrooms in the House of Love! Several teachers have given testimony on how much they enjoy working at Brit’s Home and how different our school is from others where they have taught due to our developmental and active learning approaches.
“Brit’s Academy is one of the best schools in the area. Honestly, I am very pleased to be able to teach here and I observe that the students at Brit’s Academy are above the average in Grand-Goave and that is amazing. Other things too, the school is the rare school in the area where you can have all materials necessary to teach well in an active way. Among all these amazing possibilities that make the school one of the best is also the fact that we do not have too many students in the classrooms, for example when you teach in 11th grade it is only 4 students or other grades with 6 or 12 students. I used to teach in schools where in one class there were 50 students; here no class has more than 12 students which allows each student to have more attention.” (Mr. Wiby, social science teacher)
“I have been impressed since I first came to Brit’s Home when I was able to visit the music room and meet some children who were playing guitars, keyboards and drums for me. When school started, I always have the impression that I am in large musician training when people eat together as a whole family. However, what amazes me the most is the way the children are well treated, fulfilled with self-assertion; this is far away from the reality of most orphanages in Haiti. So, I am happy to be able to teach at Brit’s Academy.” (Mr. Duphenter, music teacher)
Every other week, via Zoom, I provide teacher training on a variety of topics including effective communication, positive discipline, lesson planning, Professional Teaching Standards, project learning, child development, and active learning methodology. This semester, I am introducing interdisciplinary teaching/learning in our secondary classes (grades 7-11). Teachers are now brainstorming a topic they believe is important for students to study such as human migration. Once we decide on a topic, I will guide the teachers on how they might teach the topic through their discipline. I am excited about this new way of learning at Brit’s Home and will let you know how things progress!
Our students in grades 10 and 11 will be working with TOEFL prep tutors via Zoom which will be their English class every day. Another experiment to try!
We also include current events, whether in Haiti or someplace else in the world, into our teaching, especially for the older children in social science class.
They are now discussing reasons why people might leave their homeland for a better life, what asylum status means in the U.S., how countries strive to assist refugees, and the controversies that exist. We believe that critical thinking is important so that our children learn to draw conclusions based on fact while respecting others’ perspectives on social issues.
As always, thanks so much for your continued support for and interest in Brit’s Academy!
Dr. Debbie Pallatto-Fontaine, Superintendent