Sometimes as a co-leader of the Walking Together (WT) Program, I get asked why the emphasis on “Restorative Practices”.  This is a really good question.  WT wishes to help Christian school systems (our partners) grow in their ability to have healthy learning, healthy leadership and healthy organizational development.

However, sometime WT trainings lead to fear and conflict because teachers or principals are afraid of new ideas in Christian education.  They will have to risk trying something different and they may have setbacks so it may be easier just to do what they know.  Restorative Practices brings protocols and ways of having conversations that allow teachers, principals and leaders to share their concerns without judgment. 

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Agents of Reconciliation, Restoration, and Transformation 0 comments

One of the unique features of the AMG Guatemala schools is their emphasis on the whole student.  They are concerned for students’ physical, psychological, spiritual and academic growth.  In order to accomplish AMG’s goals, students who are 11 to 18 years old have an opportunity to attend Camp Canaan for one week each year.  The camp is run by Jose and Orfa.   These amazing people have such a heart for children.  They really appreciated the Restorative Practices training because it gives language to what they already knew.  Giving both children and teachers robust ways to communicate ways to listen and truly “hear” one another is something they always strived for.

The program at the camp is a time of safety, fun, encouragement, development of self as a child of God.  For Guatemalan children, safety is a real concern especially those who live in the cities and who may be recruited by gangs.  For students to have a whole week of investment in them as God’s beloved and to investigate how not only to believe the Gospel but to LIVE the gospel in their homes and communities is such a gift. 

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Passionate Advocate for Children in Guatemala 0 comments

EduDeo is so pleased to working with one of our newest partners, AMG (Advancing the Ministry of the Gospel) Guatemala. This organization does many things for the most vulnerable members of  Guatemalan society. They provide food, trainings, after-school programs, Christian education, counseling, scholarships for high school, and school supplies/uniforms.

EduDeo has been invited to work specifically with AMG’s Director of Education, Ruth Rodriguez who oversees the professional development of teachers and the school development plans. She is responsible for 10 schools and 20 community centres where after-school programs are run for students who have difficulty learning.

Ruth is a passionate advocate for children. She believes that teachers provide the structure, inspiration, and Christ-like model for the children in their care. 

It was Ruth who decided to combine resources to provide a retreat experience at Camp Canaan for all 180 teachers who serve AMG Guatemala. EduDeo was invited to lead training in “Christian Education: A Restorative Approach”. This training along with inspirational speeches/devotions, trust-building exercises, good food and fellowship was carefully planned to build trust, relationships, collaboration, collegiality and inspiration!

For Anne Martin, Yadira Quintanilla (from EduDeo’s partner, Presbyterian Church Schools in Belize) and myself (Diane Stronks), it was a beautiful experience of the Holy Spirit even blessing the time together more than we could have even imagined.

We look forward our continued partnership with AMG Guatemala!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

From Disrespect to Love: Thank You, Teacher 0 comments

This is the story of Ruthline and Gardison. Ruthline's teaching changed forever when she attended a training and learned how to serve her students better. Donate now at edudeo.com/teacher and give teachers like Ruthline the life-changing gift of mentorship. 

Ruthline’s classroom is dark, but her joy lights up the room.

It’s obvious she loves her students and holds their attention with her animated teaching. Ruthline has been a teacher for two years at Foyer Cretien School in Haiti, but didn’t always have her sights set on teaching. After a friend encouraged her, she participated in a CRECH training (EduDeo’s partner in Haiti). The training taught her how to assess her students psychologically – to see if they were thriving not just in school, but as whole persons.

The training opened up Ruthline’s eyes – she knew then that she deeply loved being a teacher and wanted to care for the most vulnerable children in her classroom.

One of those children is Gardison.

Gardison was known as a troublemaker, with very little respect for his teachers or the other students. He didn’t like doing his school work, and his grades reflected this. When he entered Ruthline’s class, she remembered her training, and evaluated Gardison through a psychological lens. Through talking with him, Ruthline learned “he had a problem with affection: he didn’t know his mother.”

Ruthline knew she could make a difference for Gardison and started paying him extra attention. She treated him like he was her own son.

Because of Ruthline’s small actions, Gardison’s behaviour has completely changed. He is respectful, kind, and gets along well with his classmates. He’s even doing much better in school. Gardison considers Ruthline as his mother, and he as her son.

Had Ruthline not received training, she may have never found her heart for teaching and her heart for children. Now her perspective has changed: education is more than just gaining knowledge – it’s living out wisdom.

“A good education should be based on Christ. With the Gospel, children become wiser: they understand more of life, and they understand more of God.”

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