ISM School in Quito, Ecuador put together this highlight video from the Dream Maker Conference in July 2018.
With an extremely tight schedule, we conducted four conferences and one leadership training conference over a twenty-day period in Lebanon. We were privileged to work with nearly 300 teachers, including a group of refugee teachers working with 500 school children on the border of Lebanon and Syria. In a culture where “honor-shame” is the dominant underlying approach to problems and successes in life, many are hesitant to talk about life issues. Yet many expressed they have to talk about them, because their youth are dealing with serious pressures. They are not immune to alcohol, drugs and sexual pressures they encounter through their cellphones and on the Internet.
Against a backdrop of alcoholism, adolescent drug use, gangs, and broken homes, teachers in Ecuador are often overwhelmed and undervalued. When school leaders like Santiago received and began using the Dream Maker curriculum in their schools last year, they saw things change for the better. At the beginning of the school year, Santiago led his faculty through the life map exercise, an activity he learned during our July 2016 conference. “I felt like it cleansed the inside of us,” he says. The curriculum helped Santiago witness transformation at his school, and has encouraged him to move towards his goals.
We invited 27 community leaders (pictured) from the conference to join our leadership team for a one day, special leadership training. As they broke up into small discussion groups, they came up with ideas for how they would use the curriculum in their communities. They committed to teaching the curriculum after school, on Saturdays and during camps. They claim their churches will be like a school…they will have classroom instruction there. At the same time, they will praying they can reach teachers in the public sector. One former teacher said she was going to go back and be a teacher again, because now she feels she has the tools to make a difference!
For the first time in Central Asia, we were able to introduce the Elementary Units of the DreamMaker Curriculum. A member of our staff and an elementary specialist, had break-out sessions for the elementary teachers. One teacher said she has an hour in which she can teach morals and ethics in her homeroom class. She was glad to receive the completed elementary lessons and eager to start using them after the conference. She shared, “My children will love this, with all the practical illustrations and projects. I love the magnifying glass to show how each of us is unique and different.”