Capacity-building With Chajul’s Teachers

This April, LHI kicked off its new teacher training initiative, an effort to improve the overall quality of education in Chajul by developing and sharing knowledge in the community. Steve Mullaney, Director of Development at Quetzaltenango’s Asturias Academy, focused our first training on popular education theory. He addressed oppression in society and what teachers could do to change the way their students think and learn about it.

With Philanthropiece’s support, LHI also hosted teacher trainings in theater, in response to a recent change in the Guatemalan national curriculum requiring theater classes at all school levels. Both visiting doctoral candidate Jason Bisping and the Performers Without Borders group from University of Colorado-Boulder shared their talent with teachers and directors eager to learn how to integrate theater into their instruction. Through basic theater exercises, they focused on confidence, creativity, and general silliness. It was inspiring to see traditionally composed teachers embracing their theatricality and opening up during a couple hours of playing theater games. Teachers learned how to translate simple theater exercises to their classrooms, with topics ranging from math to grammar to creative writing. Overall, teachers and directors have been very enthusiastic about teacher trainings and are excited for future opportunities.