It is essential that we develop a workable blueprint for honest virtual communication such that as we transition to online feedback with intermittent visits, teachers will be able to carry on and thrive independently.
As we develop our model, we have to consider how often our trainee wants to talk casually and how often he needs to ask technical questions. At this stage of training, most questions for me are on straightforward technical teaching issues, while Van has settled into an every other day pattern with the trainee on teaching reports and general life in the village. However, I suspect that as the trainee assumes more of a leadership role, he will look to Van for more advice as she is familiar with Myanmar nuances, and has a sharp eye for troubleshooting and thinking outside of the box.
I did laugh to myself when the young baby who lives opposite my trainee came in and was presented with my student’s cell phone to play with. Even in an environment without running water or main electric, a toddler knows how to swipe and tap away on a touch screen device. While some may presume to say that this is an invasion of traditional values or a dilution of culture, I would argue that it is a way to attain vision and hope for an emerging generation to change their environment for the better.
NEH Director of Studies and Teacher Trainer
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