Hi, Everyone! My name is Tori and I am one of the teachers going to Haiti with the EOHP this February. I’m going to take just a minute to tell you a little bit about me and what I am working on for the trip. Hopefully, some of the other team members will be able to log on and share with you about what they are doing as well.
I have been teaching elementary school for about nine years now. I have taught Third Grade, Fifth Grade, and I’m currently teaching First Grade. As part of the Teaching Team, I will be getting to know the teachers and their school and helping them determine what their needs are as they try to move their school and their students forward. I speak a little French left over from high school and I’ve been taking classes since last spring to try to improve my language skills so that I can speak to them and work with them in their language as much as possible. I’m not promising much, but I will at least try! Most Haitians speak Haitian Creole, but the language of instruction in this and many other schools in Haiti is French.
We wanted to have some helpful teaching strategies to share with them on this first visit, and we had to pick things we were almost CERTAIN they would be able to use. For my part, I will be teaching them how to use Base 10 Blocks to teach place value and computation. The link I just gave shows how to use them to teach place value, but you can imagine how they can be used to teach things like regrouping (carrying in addition, borrowing in subtraction)…and if you can’t, google it and you can find out!
Getting the Base 10 Blocks to Haiti is a bit of a problem because shipping is expensive and there are some major weight restrictions on our flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Cap-Haitien. So, we are going to take a FEW sets for the teachers to use to demonstrate and some paper ones (hopefully laminated) for the kids to use to practice with. We think we could show the students in the Trade School how to make them out of wood, but getting the wood could be a bit of a challenge, too! We will have to check that out when we get there.
My father, Don, and my husband, Jeff, are also part of the team. They were on the first trip in January of last year and so were there when the quake hit! I heard from Jeff before I even heard about the quake, he was the one who told me there had been a “small earthquake” but they were OK (via text- thank you, technology!) and I was the one who told all of them how serious things really were. I remember that week praying for all of the people who didn’t know whether or not their loved ones were OK, and especially those who were going to get bad news when they did hear. God was so gracious to me in letting me have them back… I still pray for those who lost their loved ones.
I feel so blessed to be a part of this and I thank you for taking the time to come check things out!