Upon wrapping up the Play & Resilience project by mid-July, I was thrilled to be involved in some miscellaneous tasks at the office – writing concept notes, bringing together some promotional material for IICBA’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and doing some editing work. I put together a short video for the Play & Resilience dissemination workshop. Check it out here –
My next task for the remainder of the internship was to write a Teacher’s Guide for School Feeding Cluster Strategy in collaboration with the World Food Program. This was something I had to develop from scratch and finalize as a major contribution for my internship. As a perfect example of Inter sectoral collaboration, the World Food Program reached out to UNESCO IICBA to develop a teacher’s guide for its school feeding programs across the continent. There’s obviously no better institute to reach out to for this than ours since IICBA is a UN body dedicated to strengthening teacher capacity building and increasing the supply of quality teachers across the continent. Teacher professional development is their expertise, and almost the entire staff is comprised of people who were teachers at some point, and even those who have designed teacher development curriculums in their home countries. A motto at IICBA is that it takes a teacher to know what another teacher needs, and before I was assigned this project, Yumiko asked me about my own teaching experiences and to draw from those to understand what the readers of this guide will relate with.
This task mainly raised two main hesitations for me:
Hesitation 1 – Our IEDP training has taught us to never comply to the entire “one-size-fits-all” approach and instead invest in contextualized and targeted design with appropriate needs-based assessments
Real life – Let’s create one general school feeding guide for teachers all over the continent
Hesitation 2 – I’m not knowledgeable enough about school feeding or classroom pedagogy to write an entire manual on it
Real life – You have 3 weeks to learn all you can and come up with a final product that readers will actually use
I decided to develop the guide around 2 main themes- sustainability and applicability.
Ensuring that all the material suggested in the school feeding guide is designed with a sustainable angle meant that the suggested pedagogy and practices have to be-
- Locally resourced
- Low or no cost
- Centered in building and sharing best practices
For making the guide as applicable as possible the main elements I tried to achieve were ensuring that the material is-
- Translatable across languages and cultures
- Easy to understand and implement
- Fun for the teacher and students
The mantra “less is more” definitely goes a long way in this case! The guide is currently tentatively titled A Teacher’s Guide to School Meals and I’m waiting to see the published version soon. It was also fascinating to work on a cross-over project with the WFP and learn more about what they do in Education.
This marked the end of my contributions to IICBA as an intern. Do check out my next blog on leaving IICBA and Ethiopia and my final reflections on this incredible journey.