Posts Tagged ‘teacher training’

Re-Learning How to Read

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

CORP students

Do you remember learning how to read? Depending on your age, you may have had fun with Dick and Jane or molded your mouth around consonant blends with Hooked on Phonics. But in Guatemala, neither storybooks nor syllables are standard fare. Instead, educators teach reading as an exercise in rote memorization of individual words. Words remain just arrangements of lines and curves, so students have a hard time interpreting new words on their own, and entire sentences, paragraphs, and stories never coalesce into meaning.


CORP Teacher Wins National Prize in Guatemala

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Sergio Jimenez receiving Maestro 100 Puntos award_20nov2015Sixth-grade teacher Sergio Jiménez Valenzuela just received a big boost of confidence by being one of ten teachers in the entire country of Guatemala to receive a prestigious national prize called “Maestro 100 Puntos”.

What helped him get to this point? Why, the Culture of Reading Program, of course!
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Understanding through participation {or How Scrabble Changes Everything}

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

involve me and i'll understand (2)

We never thought Scrabble would be such a smashing success at our CORP training sessions. We were wrong.

Let’s back up for a second and review exactly what we mean by “CORP training”. As you may know, our Culture of Reading Program (CORP) involves 60 training hours in literacy instruction for primary school teachers, as well as two whole years of in-class coaching and teacher support. (more…)

In class coaching for teachers in Guatemala

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Below is an excerpt from the Second Quarter report. You can read the full report here

Today at La Colina Middle School in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, you could peek into a classroom to see students working together in groups, pouring over their textbooks. You’d see them discussing the material animatedly with their peers and jotting down ideas in their notebooks.

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Students at Colegio Intervida show off their brand new CoEd textbooks. Thanks to the Textbook Program’s enhanced teacher training component, the books will become the core of an interactive, student-oriented classroom. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, 2014.

Outside, you might see the math class students lining up on the basketball court, each one taking the place of a positive or negative number in a number line. A flurry of activity suddenly descends on the court as their teacher, Cristian, instructs the students to find and change places with the peer who shares their absolute values. (more…)

Irma gets more teacher training: In her own words

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
A Culture of Reading Program teacher trainee talks with the Cooperative for Education about her life and her experiences with CORP.

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Irma Natalia Con Cuc knows how it feels to enter a classroom and not understand a word anyone says. Irma, a second grade teacher from Sacatapéquez, Guatemala, grew up speaking the region’s indigenous language, Kaqchikel. Like her students – and like so many of Guatemala’s Maya – she learned Spanish almost as an after thought, once she entered primary school.

From that experience, Irma learned a lot about overcoming adversity. She looks back on those days, almost wistfully, given the enormous challenges she faces in her current job. As a new teacher, Irma remembers struggling, every day, to help her students read. After all, many of the children had never before held a book in their hands and most lacked basic Spanish language skills.

Irma noted that when she first attempted to teach her second graders to read, “The kids didn’t pay much attention, so it was difficult to accomplish very much.”
Then CoEd’s Culture of Reading Program (CORP) came to her school and changed everything. Through CORP training, Irma learned how to engage the children in the learning process. Through the program, Irma has access to high-quality, engaging children’s books. She reads them to her class and encourages every child to participate in the story telling. She shows them the illustrations, asks them questions about what they think will happen next, and helps them write and illustrate their own books.

Irma practices her classroom techniques during a day long workshop with CORP trainers.

“The CORP program is wonderful and so important to our students,” Irma enthuses. “It helps them learn so much more than before and they are more excited about their studies.” When asked how the program has changed the way Irma views her own role in the classroom, she muses, “I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be part of this program. Every day, I am excited to use what I’ve learned.”


Carolyn Johnson, Rotarian and founder of the CORP for the Cooperative for Education, also notes the difference she has witnessed in the lives of the teachers, children, and parents, in indigenous Mayan communities where she has conducted the CORP training.


“Parents are seeing that their children can read and are voluntarily sending in paper to the school so the kids can make more books. Kids get to school very early in the mornings just to go in their classrooms and read! It is exciting to hear in the teachers voices how much they believe CORP is making a difference in their kids’ learning.”


Education in Action Series: Culture of Reading

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

What does a classroom in the Culture of Reading Program look like?

When you enter a CORP classroom you’ll see students reading aloud in small groups, teachers gathering their kids into reading circles, or students creating their very own storybooks. This may sound like a typical classroom in your hometown, these are remarkable milestones brought about through the hard work of trainers and teachers with a ton of heart for their students. We’re continually amazed and encouraged by them!

What surprised you the first time you entered a classroom in a developing nation? 

Books are Awesome

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

books are awesome

We know it. You know it. And thanks to your generosity, more kids in Guatemala will soon know it too!

The new school year starts next week in Guatemala, and the Textbook team is hard at work preparing the seven new schools that are entering the Textbook Program this year.  This means that 1,080 MORE Guatemalan students will have textbooks in their hands this school year (woot woot)!

You know what else is awesome?

Our signature program is expanding (woot woot woot!! Too much? Fine, we’ll stick with the double woot).  After seeing the profound impact teacher training has had in CORP, we’re taking those lessons and expanding training for the Textbook Program teachers too. 

Mario Yac and the Textbook team are holding training sessions all week long—giving the teachers practical strategies, hands on demos, and coaching for how to better use textbooks in the classroom. This training will ensure that the teachers maximize the benefits of these donated textbooks, leading to lasting, sustainable change.

Make us proud, Mario and team.  Show everyone how awesome books are! 

Voices of CoEd: Tanya—Determined to Succeed

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

The second-grade classroom at Pachalí Primary School is humid. A fly buzzes from desk to desk, circling in wide, lazy arcs in an attempt to distract the students’ attention from the front of the room. But teacher Regina Cabjón is reading—and the students are too busy listening.

CORP Teacher reading

CORP trained teachers make reading to their students each day a priority for the classroom

This is Regina’s second year of training in Cooperative for Education’s Culture of Reading Program (CORP), which aims to foster a lifelong love of learning in children by providing primary school teachers with best practices in reading instruction. Regina is amazed at the difference she sees in her students after implementing the CORP methodology. She remarks, “The students used to be indifferent towards books—now they actually look forward to reading!”

Guatemalan boy reading