Dear Family and Friends,
This is one of the most beautiful things we have ever been honored to be a part of! We alternate between crying, laughing, and bursting out with outrageous joy. We are feel honored to be a part of the creation of this Montessori school and to have the opportunity to train these committed teachers.
The classroom is complete and we have finished three days of intensive teacher training. Laura, Lindsay and I taught practical life, sensorial, and math the first three days and Rose, Kim and Eileen will teach cultural studies and language arts next week. We have 14 teachers in the training and each day since we have begun more teachers have come. We have had to turn them away, some in tears, because they hadn’t been clear about the start time.
We promised another training sometime in September or October. Do you hear that my Montessori teaching friends??? My public school teaching friends??? I am not training alone, so you better visit! Resource a school, an educational community, and hang out with me in Malawi, Africa. Hey, I can’t think of a better way for you to spend a couple weeks in September, December, April, or early June. I am taking sign ups right now! Each person on the team is using their special gifts and contributing so much. Brice, Josh, and Josh Yeager are building and wrecking things, depending upon the project (smile). Patty, Rose, and Caitlyn have been irreplaceable as our set up crew. Sarah and Jean have orchestrated all the tasks behind the scene that it takes to put on a six day training. They have prepared the environment, greeted and built relationships with all the teachers, and prepared the meals.
There is such a hunger for teacher training here. Our Malawian teachers in training are so focused, taking detailed notes, and participating fully in all the lessons. I have been shocked at the speed and accuracy of their learning. I still cannot believe we are here, that we brought an entire Montessori classroom with us in our luggage, that we have set it up at the orphanage and are now training in this beautiful classroom. As I type this I am completely moved by how extraordinary this is and the magnitude of what is being accomplished in such a short time. You are all part of this accomplishment. I will share a couple of memories from the training and then you can see the pictures below.
On Thursday we shared some songs that we sing with the children during circle. Then we asked the Malawian teachers in training if they would like to share some traditional songs with us. One of the teachers had Josh’s guitar that he brought and began to lead everyone in song. In 10 seconds we were all on our feet, singing and dancing around the entire classroom to the most heavenly music I have ever heard. I looked at Laura and we both started to cry. Music comes out of their souls here. It was as if the angels in heaven were singing. We sang, clapped, laughed, and danced for 15 minutes together- one community, one people- we became family in that moment. We love you all! We thank you for supporting us to make a difference for these children and our Montessori teacher in training.
P.S. Part of our team went on a short Safari to see the beauty of Malawi. We will add pics soon.