Putting #TeachersFirst: An Incredible Summer with InnovEd

In March, we launched Summits with a campaign focused on the transformative power of teachers. We asked our community for help fund a teacher training institute for the 350 educators in our network and in less than three months, we raised over $130,000 for this critical program, together.

During the month of August, we saw this dream become a reality as we welcomed groups of educators from across the Central Plateau to three, week-long programs as part of InnovEd's intensive Summer Institute.

The enthusiasm was palpable from the start. Each morning, teachers started the day together, in one big circle under the morning sun. Lead by group leaders, our teachers sang songs and voiced affirmations in order to motivate each other and set a positive tone for the day of training ahead. The nervous energy of Monday quickly turned into an eruption of renewed energy and meaningful connection by Friday.

The central focus of the week was to introduce educators to the concept of the Lèkol Vivan or The Vibrant School. By blending pedagogical theory and participatory learning, the Vibrant School approach seeks to equip educators with the skills necessary to transform traditional schools into active, nurturing learning environments. Teachers attended workshops on increasing student engagement and participation and on using the natural environment as a tool for teaching.

InnovEd presents a learner-centered curriculum that challenges teachers and students to work together to achieve high impact growth; a holistic approach that builds an active school culture inside and outside the classroom.

This style is unlike traditional approaches to education in Haiti. Traditionally, classrooms depend on rote style instruction and memorization. As Summits first grade teacher Madeleine Jean put it,

Before, the way I taught—without this training—was not the same. In the morning, we would just go into the classroom, pray, and start working. Now thanks to InnovEd and Summits it’s not going to be the same. We are going to keep the children’s attention. From now on we are going to apply the right activities that will inspire students to work together.

We’ve been inspired by InnovEd’s dedication to improving teacher quality and student achievement across Haiti and this year's Summer Institute is just the beginning of our partnership. Over the next two years, the InnovEd team with continue to work with our teacher trainers, administrators, and teachers, offering ongoing professional development and training throughout the year.

Through your support of Teachers First, you made this incredible summer happen. Thanks to you, our educators are starting the school year stronger than ever!