A Nonprofit that Teaches the Teachers

Posted By Frank Vinluan

The Mayan people of Guatemala call it “La Violencia,” or the “Time of Violence.” From the 1960s through the mid-1990s, civil war saw the indigenous Mayans suffer atrocities later documented as human rights violations.

While there is peace now, the troubled history remains fresh. So when Teachers2Teachers International works with schools in remote areas in Guatemala, visiting educators aim to “instill value in education without colonizing them with our values,” explained the nonprofit’s founder, Chadd McGlone. Chadd visited with the RTP Rotary Club discuss the work that his group does in Guatemala and around the world.

Chadd, a Rotarian, founded T2T two years ago based on the idea that teachers from the United States can spend one week working side by side with teachers in developing countries to help them improve their teaching techniques. For example, T2T encourages teachers to change from a lecture-based teaching style and instead, adopt a more interactive approach where students collaborate in small groups. Math is taught by relating concepts familiar to the rural communities, such as counting chickens. “We work with the teachers to bring the math alive,” Chadd explained.

Many of the U.S. teachers who participate in T2T are retired educators. Only so much can be accomplished in a week, so the organization also runs teacher workshops to continue the professional development. Chadd is leaving for Guatemala next week for the next workshop, which will include participation from U.S. teachers representing nine different cities in eight different states.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Judy van der Velden under a Creative Commons license.

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