The Gambia - Day 1 Teacher Training
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
Thursday 6th December2018
Alice and I are up early, breakfasted and nervously on our way to Bakoteh Annex LBS by 08:00 in a green taxi, seven times the cost of a yellow taxi!but recommended for tourists as a safe and reliable way to travel. On arrival at the school we cause great interest and while Alice chalks a brief timetable on the blackboard children constantly visit the classroom to shake our hands or are inquisitively hanging from bars on the glassless windows to catch a glimpse. Children are arriving all the time into the sandy area outside the classroom increasing the noise level and with bangers are going off we are a little nervous. Our anxiety increases when an hour after the official start of teacher training only two teachers have arrived, however, of course all timings are in GMT - Gambian Maybe Time and slowly to our relief teachers begin to arrive. Our first unexpected challenge is asking everyone to wear a sticky label, confusion is high as no-one has ever used a sticky labels before! Eventually by mid-morning we are ready begin, fifteen teachers, the cluster monitor and regional director are present and the headteacher teacher of Bakoteh Annex formally welcomes Alice and I and officially opens the teacher training course, followed by a self-claimed imposter who runs into the classroom and leads everyone into singsong creating fun and laughter which wonderfully sets the tone and underpins all learning in the next two days.
We start with healthy eating playing games including patter cake and snap. When teachers had learnt the rules Alice and I very quickly learn that it is win, win, win and oh my they were very competitive and just wanted to keep playing. After breakfast we moved to a shaded area outside where we set up multi-skill activity stations and introduced dodgeball. In the afternoon we discussed how the body works with activities. It was great day, full of engagement and questions and I hope that we have shown that learning is fun and knowledge and understanding can be embedded through games and play.