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Ridge Elementary School educators train teachers in Ghana

Ridge Elementary School special education teacher Emily Strabel (left) and reading specialist Elene Planinsek showcase Ghana, Africa in the elementary school’s Cultural PRIDE Corner. The educators spent July 2019 in Ghana educating and coaching teachers.  Ridge Elementary School special education teacher Emily Strabel works with teachers in Kumasi, Ghana in July as a fellow with the Limited Resource Teacher Training Program.  Ridge Elementary School reading specialist Elene Planinsek hosted trainings for teachers in areas including student engagement, assessments and classroom culture in July in Kumasi, Ghana as a fellow with the Limited Resource Teacher Training Program.

Two Ridge Elementary School educators spent the month of July training teachers in Ghana, Africa.

Reading specialist Elene Planinsek and Emily Strabel, special education teacher for kindergarten and first grade, made the trip as Fellows through the Limited Resource Teacher Training (LLRT) program.

They were part of a group of 27 Fellows from seven different countries, Planinsek said. Those Fellows worked with 60 local teachers in 14 schools in Kumasi, Ghana, Strabel said.  “It was amazing,” she said.

Planinsek and Strabel each worked with two teachers.

The experience of each local teacher varied. One started teaching when she was 18 years old and others had college degrees.

Planinsek and Strabel spent one day a week teaching their teachers about concepts such as growth mindset, assessments, student engagement and classroom culture.

They spent the other four days in the classroom coaching their teachers with the students.

“Going and teaching the teachers allows the teachers we worked with to spread their knowledge and skills -- not only to that class but to future classes and other teachers in the building,” Planinsek said.

All the teachers were willing to work hard to improve education in their classrooms, she said.

The pair also helped set up a community library including organizing thousands of books.

“Ridge is enriched by these two outstanding leaders taking this visit on their own,” said Principal Dr. Stacey DiBitetto.

“I am honored to have learned from these two ladies and am in awe knowing they were able to support so many other students on a different continent by teaching other teachers,” she said.