Posts Tagged ‘teachers’

Learning How to Learn

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Principal and first- and second-grade teacher Fermy with one of her students

Fermy, the principal and first- and second-grade teacher at El Rosario primary school recalls: “When CoEd came to ask if we would like to enter the Culture of Reading Program (CORP), I said: ‘Yes, I want to do it. I want to learn. I want to develop myself so that I never become stagnant.’” (more…)

What You Make Possible in Just One Week

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Sit back and listen to some good news! Our Director of International Programs, Katie Camillus, wants to give you a “taste” of all the exciting things that happen in Guatemala in a typical week, thanks to your support! These stories range from playful to powerful: you won’t want to miss them!

Riding with Augusto

Friday, July 14th, 2017
Textbook Program Latin American Guatemala

Augusto Bal, CoEd Textbook Program Coordinator

While in Guatemala on a project tour this February, I got to climb into a truck with one of our Textbook Program Coordinators and ask him about his work. Augusto Bal is a jolly, Mayan grandpa of a man whose presence immediately calms and gladdens the heart. He has 23 years of experience in the field of education, many of which he spent as principal at various public schools and as the superintendent of Guatemala’s Chimaltenango department. Now, Augusto coordinates and supports Textbook Program activities such as recruitment of new schools, teacher training, book delivery, and providing support to the 193 schools already in the program. He’s passionate about the way our program inspires entire communities of people to place value on education, and permanently fills the need for textbooks through its sustainable model.

Check out what he had to say about the program and what it means to him, and remember—YOU are making all of Augusto’s wonderful work possible.


Dora María Cardenas Figueroa: A Classroom Transformed

Friday, May 19th, 2017
Guatemalan primary school reading program

Dora María and her student Antony

Before the Culture of Reading Program (CORP) arrived at Agua Dulce school, Dora María’s classroom looked like most other first- and second-grade classrooms in rural Guatemala. There were no storybooks, just a whiteboard and some markers. Dora María used the teaching techniques she had learned while studying teaching in high school, which is all the training that is required of primary school teachers in Guatemala. “They would just copy and copy and copy,” she says.


Our Newest Textbook Program Teachers Sound Off

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

This year our Textbook Program expanded to 16 new middle schools in the regions of El Quiché, Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán, and Sololá. In June we surveyed the teachers at these schools to get their thoughts on how the program has begun to affect their teaching and their students. We were so excited by what they said, and you deserve to hear it! This is what your support is accomplishing in Guatemala:

What differences do you see as a teacher now that you have textbooks and training, compared to when you didn’t?


CoEd2016_AugSnap_Courtney-417 (more…)

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!
CoEd2013_GLP_Jenn_2621 (more…)

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.”