Two Ridge Elementary School educators spent the month of July training teachers in Ghana, Africa.
Reading specialist Elene Planinsek and Emily Strabel, special education teacher for kindergarten and first grade, made the trip as Fellows through the Limited Resource Teacher Training (LLRT) program.
They were part of a group of 27 Fellows from seven different countries, Planinsek said. Those Fellows worked with 60 local teachers in 14 schools in Kumasi, Ghana, Strabel said. “It was amazing,” she said.
Planinsek and Strabel each worked with two teachers.
The experience of each local teacher varied. One started teaching when she was 18 years old and others had college degrees.
Planinsek and Strabel spent one day a week teaching their teachers about concepts such as growth mindset, assessments, student engagement and classroom culture.
They spent the other four days in the classroom coaching their teachers with the students.
“Going and teaching the teachers allows the teachers we worked with to spread their knowledge and skills -- not only to that class but to future classes and other teachers in the building,” Planinsek said.
All the teachers were willing to work hard to improve education in their classrooms, she said.
The pair also helped set up a community library including organizing thousands of books.
“Ridge is enriched by these two outstanding leaders taking this visit on their own,” said Principal Dr. Stacey DiBitetto.
“I am honored to have learned from these two ladies and am in awe knowing they were able to support so many other students on a different continent by teaching other teachers,” she said.