While we are big believers in putting students at the center of the education universe and focusing on learning over teaching, the importance of teachers cannot be ignored. Evidence consistently indicates that teacher quality influences positive learning outcomes more than any other factor. We have all experienced the importance of teachers in our own schooling. A great teacher transforms intimidating subjects into entertainment and make us feel as though we can learn anything. On the other hand, a bad teacher can suck the life out of even the most exciting of topics, turning what should be an exciting adventure of discovery into pure drudgery.
I have seen my fair share of uninspiring teachers, and I was fortunate to attend schools operating in extreme affluence compared with the context of most of the world. Imagine the challenge that affordable private schools face as they strive to secure and retain quality teachers while charging fees that are accessible to families who live on just a few dollars a day.
Although many teachers in the segment are inexperienced and have no formal training, they operate within a promising dynamic. Most teachers have the same hunger to grow and develop as the students they teach. They are held accountable – school directors are exceedingly attentive to supervising their teachers. Many even have closed circuit cameras that allow them to monitor every classroom throughout the day.
We are excited to help improve teacher quality in the segment, and we believe the existing dynamic presents a fertile, albeit challenging, environment in which to work. An amazing amount of effort has gone into the art and science of preparing and equipping teachers. Numerous approaches to teacher training have been developed, technology now allows teachers to share and exchange regardless of geography and makes myriad resources more easily accessible. We hope we can help contextualize these existing resources and make them more accessible to affordable private schools. We welcome anyone who can help us in this endeavor.