Monday, May 30, 2011

Kyamagemule Meet Hawthorne

Martin, the headmaster at Covenant Junior School in Kyamagemule, is a very kind and helpful man. The teachers seem to respect him. When asked what the barriers to success might be in this very remote place, the teachers were quick to point out that their salaries were insufficient to even provide shelter. Why would teachers come this far from home for substandard salaries? Because they love the children and because they have a job. One teacher pointed out that several of them stay in one room in the village to avoid excessive transportation fees and because that is all they can afford.

After meeting with the teachers, I talked to the team about the Hawthorne effect and suggested we develop some simple skill-building workshops that could take place during the time others conduct child sponsorship updates. Among the team members, we have enough education and teaching experience to provide a little something that would encourage and give hope to these faithful teachers. Just knowing that we care about them, according to the Hawthorne effect, ought to raise their performance and morale.

Mercy Uganda is thinking about creating a teacher's conference for those teachers where we have sponsored students. Perhaps we create a teacher-to-teacher program where a teacher from the States mentors/sponsors a teacher from Kyamagemule. With only eight teachers, this may be possible. I’m thinking something like sending over your old books, tools, and maybe clothing (these teachers need real, practical help too) where your donation would go directly to a specific teacher that you chose to sponsor. You can correspond with this teacher, who may have questions or need suggestions. Still…we need to think more about this. Your ideas are quite welcome.