At Edify, we believe that one of the most influential aspects of a flourishing school is the quality of the leadership and teaching. The schools that Edify comes alongside do not lack passion or vision, but rather formal training. Empowering school proprietors and teachers through various types of training is essential to Edify’s vision of flourishing godly nations.

Kindergarten students doing mathematics in an Edify partner school.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) is the foundation of student learning especially for children from economically disadvantaged communities, which is why there is such a focus on education training at Edify. In the last two years, my colleagues from the University of San Diego and I have worked with Edify to create a curriculum suited to each culture, and have been training the proprietors of Christian low-fee private schools.

How Do We Train?

We know that in order to be effective and to scale the training program, it is important to have local educators provide the training. This is why we created a train-the-trainer model for the program. We work side by side with outstanding educators in the beginning until they eventually take over facilitating all of the leadership trainings. For example, after working in Ethiopia for two years, we are ready to hand off 100% of the trainings going forward to Konjit and Genet, Ethiopian locals who are ready to serve their community and help local low-fee schools flourish.

Ethiopian school leaders and trainers during a February 2018 training—a dynamic group of highly motivated learners! Our new trainers: Genet is standing on the far left and Konjit is in the center in red.

Empowerment Through Leadership Training

The leadership of the school has the most influence on its success, especially on learning outcomes for students. If we build the capacity of the school leadership team, they will be equipped to hire and support outstanding teachers. Thus, all of our trainings target school leadership teams (school owners, leaders and other directors).  These trainings include topics like: Student Nutrition and Health; How to Work with Parents and Families; Creating a Mission and Vision for the School; Recruiting, Hiring, Supporting and Providing Helpful Feedback to Teachers; and Promoting Literacy Practices.

School leaders not only attend the training but leave each workshop with paper and electronic copies of the guide and an action plan with measurable goals that they have developed at the training. This allows the school leader to become the instructional leader of the school. After working with these school leaders, we have evidence that they are improving their hiring practices, better supporting teachers, and they are purchasing many more books for their schools!

What is the end result? Schools become sustainable and grow, teachers feel equipped and motivated, student learning outcomes improve and communities are changed!

“We have made lots of changes since the last Edify training. The training was particularly helpful in hiring new teachers and when talking about working with parents and the community around the school. We are no longer an island but part of the community.”

– A school leader and attendee of a recent training in Ethiopia.

I brought a copy of one of my favorite children’s books to Ethiopia on our February visit. This preschool book is Marcus Pfister’s The Rainbow Fish “The more he gave away, the more delighted he became.” The generous gifts of others has provided Edify with the opportunity to give to others, to continue the cycle of giving. Will you join us in improving and expanding Christ-centered education in places like Ethiopia and the other 9 countries we work in?

Dr. Paula Cordeiro is a Professor and former Dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. She is currently working as an Educational Consultant for Edify, training and empowering local educators to take over and run Edify’s School Leadership trainings in each of the countries we work in. When Paula is not traveling she enjoys hiking and kayaking at her home in Massachusetts.