Meet Lourdes de Jesús.
Lourdes recently returned to the DR from Spain where she completed two Master’s degrees in education and history. She is now working as a history professor at a local Christian university and has started a small training program that educates her community about relevant social issues such as teen pregnancy prevention, drug use, parenting skills, etc. Lourdes is one of the well-qualified teacher trainers on the APRENDI training team. She teaches Discipline in the Classroom and Making Learning Fun within the network of schools Edify serves in the DR. Lourdes sees a dire need in the area of education in her country and feels compelled to do something about. She says, “Teachers are not equipped when they leave the university and enter the classroom to teach. We can see it in the mistreatment of students here which is a serious problem. It’s not reflective of bad teachers as much as lack of good formation; they’ve been poorly formed.” Through these APRENDI trainings Lourdes hopes to begin making an impact, “we are here to re-form the hearts and minds of teachers and point them in a better direction.” One way of doing that is by integrating biblical principles into each teacher training offered. Lourdes explains, for example, that Jesus was a great teacher; he engaged his disciples’ hearts and minds. Lourdes encourages teachers to do the same in their classroom; to ask challenging questions, to push the limits of student’s thinking to another level, to show by example how to love others and care for the world. So far this year we’ve hosted over 40 teacher trainings in partnership with APRENDI and we plan to continue with the same momentum throughout the rest of 2013. We commend trainers like Lourdes for dedicating their time, energy and talent to this program as we work together to improve the state of Christian education here in the DR.