Escojo Enseñar (I Choose to Teach) Regional Conference 2018
- Dominican Republic
The conference will be designed to meet the specific needs of kindergarten through third grade teachers, school psychologists, and directors of five elementary schools. The content of this conference ties directly into current Ministry of Education initiatives, empowering teachers to employ strategies that help them meet national goals. The Peace Corps Primary Literacy Promoter goal number one: improving teaching practices is also met by this project.
An emphasis will be placed on practicum-based learning, allowing time for participants to implement the newly-learned strategies with live constructive feedback. Additionally, PCVs will work alongside district officials by providing follow-up in the months after the conference. This will open the door to other collaboration opportunities, such as the summer conference, which includes all schools from the district.
As the first of its kind in the immediate region, this conference has the potential to impact district officials, teachers, and students for generations.
District officials from this region have met with volunteers four times and have promised to provide support before, during, and after the conference. Prior to the conference, the officials will participate in multiple planning sessions with the PCVs, designing the conference based on the needs of the southern district. During these presentations the district officials will take a leading role while having the support and assistance of the PCV. Support after the conference will include an immediate evaluation, in addition to visits with PCVs to all schools in attendance to deliver feedback and follow-up.
In terms of material support, the school district is offering the space in which to hold the conference, along with all of the audio visual materials needed. They are also providing all of the consumable materials that will be used in the conference.
The conference will be presented alongside district officials, whose primary responsibility is to give conferences with the goal of improving teacher abilities. The conference will be given in a space already used by district officials, and with materials that are available both to them and teachers on a regular basis.
As mentioned before, the teachers of the representative schools will return to implement all the information in their own classrooms and serve as examples for the other teachers at their schools. All teachers will have a follow up by the district officials, and the conference will leave the district technicians equipped to repeat the conference at other schools that were not in attendance.
This conference will set the precedent for the planning and implementation of the upcoming summer conference with PCVs. The summer conference is held every year with all 17 schools in the district. If the district officials adopt techniques learned through the Escojo Eseñar conference in their summer conference, this has the potential to impact generations of district officials, teachers, and students.
This year's conference is particularly important to the southern border region because this is the first group of education volunteers in this particular region, with more to come in the foreseeable future. We are looking forward for this year's conference to be an opportunity to build a foundation of concepts and goals to be improved and adapted for the years to come with the support of future generations of volunteers.