In mid-June, I embarked with twenty-four fellow educators from around the United States to Guyana. Before I left, most of my family and friends didn’t even know where Guyana was on a map, let alone that it was a country. However, the three and a half weeks I spent in Georgetown and Mabaruma has changed my heart and has my friends and family talking about this once unfamiliar country.

Some of the best memories that I have of Guyana were from the four-day workshops. Our team planned collaboratively to design workshops around mindset, climate for learning and preparation for teaching. We worked together to brainstorm sessions on surrounding topics such as growth mindset, grit, classroom community, backwards design and assessment. It was incredible planning with fellow teachers from the states because each of us had unique experiences working in schools from urban, rural, and suburban schools that brought different perspectives and ideas for workshop topics. I learned so many new classroom community and class building ideas that I have been able to implement in my classroom this year!

Co-Fellows getting creative when modelling mindset.

Some of the biggest challenges of the workshops came with planning with limited resources in mind. Despite this challenge, I was astounded at how creative and resourceful teachers in Mabaruma are. Often times when we presented activities, instead of telling the teachers how to adapt or modify the activity, we would ask them! They know their classrooms, materials, and students better than we do.

“Our objective of the workshops was to listen just as much as teach.”

LRTT Guyana’s goal was to help empower teachers with strategies to improve their teaching, not tell them our way is the only way. In fact, their innovation has inspired me and has taught me that there is always a solution and there is always a way to accomplish your goals, but it may just take more time and creativity to do what you want to do. Material possessions are not what makes a teacher great, but what does are the strategies that he or she uses to reach every child. This is a message that I hope sticks with the teachers in Mabaruma. I will take back all of the memories, laughs, and happy tears I shared with the teachers into my classroom. Rita Pearson once said, “Every Child Deserves a Champion”. I know that the teachers who took time out of their weekend, some travelling from far distances by boat and bus to come to the LRTT workshop, are champions for their students.

Brittany Baran

LRTT Guyana Fellow

If you’re inspired by Brittany’s story and you’re interested in learning more about joining an LRTT Fellowships visit today.