About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Haiti Educator and Leadership Institute: Reflections

The Haiti Educator and Leadership Institute ended with all of our goals met and with high expectations for next year's institute.
Here are some "numbers" of the week:

1. 200 teacher and principal participants from 30+ schools from across the country.
2. 80+ participants who agreed to continue their professional learning through online courses.
3. 100+ children involved in an English and robotics camp.
4. 25 university students who participated in a conversational English language program.
5. 43 North American participants (30 from Canada, 13 from the US).

Numbers don't tell the whole story.

We heard many, many, many (did I say "many"?!) comments from teachers and principals about the deep appreciation for the training and mentoring that took place. Participants were already inquiring about how to register for next year's institute.

We interacted with children (and their parents) and university students who expressed gratitude for the interactions that took place. Children were deeply engaged with the robotics and English camp. University students discussed topics like the environment, terrorism, and social media. The Canadian and Haitian university students started a Facebook group so that they could continue to practice their English, French, and Creole.

Our Canadian instructors and team members told story after story of meaningful experiences in which they too learned through the experience. Many have expressed an interest in participating in the online courses and/or in returning for next year's institute.

We have started two major research projects - one on online learning in a fragile context like Haiti and the other on how teacher professional development impacts teacher beliefs about their influence on student learning - both of which could have significant impact and implications.

I feel fortunate to have been part of this incredible experience. We have committed to continuing this initiative for five years, during which we will increasingly engage key Haitian leaders so that they may sustain the initiative. We are truly making a difference with a multi-generational approach to teaching and learning! The following are pictures that reflect some of these incredibly meaningful experiences. Enjoy!

Sr. Viergina (director, College Regina Assumpta, and co-leader of the Haitian group) and Jhonel Morvan (co-leader of our Canadian group)
One of our Canadian instructors with a Haitian student during the afternoon practicum we offered
Special education course
Haitian participants leading a math workshop for their peers

What do Haitian teachers (and a Canadian young person) do during lunch break?!

English and robotics camp
English and robotics camp
English and robotics camp
Lunches provided to all participants thanks to generous sponsors
Laurier and Desire2Learn well represented in the summer institute
Samy, to my right, coordinated the university English language program, and his sister, Sasha

English language program with university students

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