In a recent trip to Cuba, every day brought 120+ to our doors. They were a mixture of government school teachers and church and community leaders. The churches helped provide vans to go throughout the communities and bring the participants to the meetings.
They all came eager to hear what we had to share. During our team debrief at the end of the first day, everyone was unanimous that the level of excitement and anticipation we saw on this first day was unlike most of our conferences. The hunger for what we were sharing was evident. As they were constantly taking notes, they were also eager to talk and discuss issues prevalent among their young people and learn ways to solve them.
In March I was able to return to Central Asia; it’s been a couple of years since my last trip there. Two hundred teachers attended the two conferences. A central theme in our plenary sessions is sharing how worldviews are formed and how our view of the world affects decision-making. The teachers all attended on their week off from school, so it was a real sacrifice to be there.
One of the teachers mentioned she had a meeting in the afternoon and wouldn’t be able to come on one of the days; but after the first day, she decided to cancel her appointment and stay. I thanked her at the end of the day and she said, “No, I thank you. Now I feel like I can help my students. You pour into us so we can pour into the students.”
As we began, a number of teachers had no idea what a worldview is, how it impacts the way a person lives their life, and even how a teacher teaches. The talks and discussion made it clear, and they were excited to know how to evaluate their own philosophy.
Late February began a hectic journey to very different cultures and opportunities to reach teachers. In Ecuador, I was privileged to visit some schools using our curriculum. The teachers, involved with our conference last July, 2016, were implementing actual lessons. One school has 1,900 students at all levels (K-12) working through the Dream Makers curriculum.
We enjoyed seeing students interact during the lessons and share their journals that illustrate each lessons. They are required to share these journals with their parents and discuss them—it is actually homework. While there, I worked on initial set up for our upcoming July conferences in Quito and Guayaquil. We anticipate 300 teachers will attend in each city.
In June, at our leadership conference in Xela, Guatemala, the Regional Director of Education of Totonicapán told us he attended the conference in Xela in 2013 as a teacher. He has been teaching the material since then, and has now committed, as the head of education in the region, to making sure all 5,000 students under his administration will be taught these principles.