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Love, Hope and Math in Ecuador

by Andi Green, Instructional Coach at Martin Millennium Academy  | Tarboro, NC

There is something powerful and grounding about standing at the center of the world. Something that makes you reflect on what is at your core. Teaching is at my core. It is my what, student learning is my why, and I recently found an inspiring organization that is helping me to grow my how.

“E” is for equator—Andi crosses the line

Through a serendipitous series of events, my path crossed with Teachers2Teachers Global. Global teaching is their core! Empowering teachers to impact student learning is their why, and connecting teachers around the world to excellent resources, engaging activities, and powerful professional development is their how.

In February, T2TGlobal brought together a group of 18 math educators for a week of work in Quito, Ecuador. Traveling from Brazil, Canada, the US and Ecuador, we visited six different schools, spending time in classrooms in the morning and then offering workshops for teachers in the afternoon. Each workshop was informed by the morning observations and created with a focus on three areas:

  • collaboration
  • students being able to communicate their thinking
  • the power of using visual tools in teaching math

Amor y Esperanza = Love and Hope

I visited a school called  Amor y Esperanza, an amazing place that truly embodies the love and hope in its name. Walking into the school and meeting the co-founders, Pancho and Pitty, is like receiving a hug from an old friend. In one three-story building in a slum community are 14 teachers for preschool through 11th grade, dedicated to supporting approximately 300 children who otherwise would not have access to an education.

Co-founders Pancho and Pitty

Over the week we were able to build relationships with students and staff as we joined their daily classes and then offered five different STEM workshops in the afternoons. We fell in love with the students, whose learning was the subject of much discussion. We all grew as educators as we shared strategies that would enhance their mathematical understanding. Since we know that the best learning takes place in the context of meaningful personal connections, T2TGlobal’s model of observing, discussing, and then learning together provides that opportunity to forge relationships. Therein lies the transformation that occurs!

Adding It All Up

Being totally honest, you’d fall in love with them, too, right?

Later in the week, T2TGlobal and Alliance Academy hosted a math conference for all the teachers in the partner schools. It was an exciting afternoon of growth. We were expecting 100 participants and were thrilled to have 140 educators overflowing Alliance Academy’s lunchroom. Allow me to repeat—140 educators chose to spend their afternoon doing math! As someone who was new to the T2TGlobal family, I saw this as a true testament to the dedication of the local teachers, as well as the partnerships built by T2TGlobal.

I joined this T2TGlobal experience because I have a love for teaching, a love for math, and, of course, a love for travel. I reflect on this experience with love and respect for T2TGlobal, and I have hope for a future of educators grounded in professional development. Changing the world, one relationship at a time.

  • Allie Mendelsohn
    Posted at 09:14h, 02 April Reply

    It’s wonderful to read about yet another transformative experience made possible by T2t. Thank you for continuing to share and inspire.

    • Jenny McGlone
      Posted at 14:39h, 02 April Reply

      We’re fortunate to have many supporters like you who are willing to get involved and make a difference!

  • Amor y Esperanza
    Posted at 10:04h, 16 April Reply

    Dear Andy:

    Having you here was a wonderful blessing. You are our family and our arms and doors will be always wide opened for you. Your love and passion to teach is so contagious, you planted precious seeds that are giving wonderful fruit. We give God the thanks for your life, teaching is such a huge responsibility and it is always very encouraging and empowering to learn from people like you.

    With endless gratitude, love and wishing for you abundant blessings,

    Pancho and Pitty

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