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Little Ripples Teacher Training Day #1

It was an another amazing and productive day! We finally began our teacher training! Jocelyn and I had 19 young women candidates to work with today. The future Little Ripples teaching staff are between the ages of 14-21 years of age. We had the assistance of Ahmed Hassan Yagoub to help translate for us. We met Ahmed Hassan Yagoub a couple of days ago when we met with a group of primary and secondary teachers. He is a secondary school english teacher but also a primary school first level teacher. After our talks with him that day, we knew that his assistance with translating for the training would be very helpful…that definitely proved true! His passion for education shined through and his demeanor helped us create a comfortable atmosphere for the teachers. We are really grateful for his help!

Today’s training was full of laughing and learning. Our first goal was to go over the children’s daily schedule. Each step of the way we modeled key points, such as, hand washing, transitions, and learning activities. For Circle Time we taught each other songs in Arabic and English. An important component of the Little Ripples curriculum is learning through play. The teachers really enjoyed when we pulled out the legos. First we explored playing with them and then we modeled concepts that could be introduced through playing with blocks, such as, language development, counting, colors, and sorting. We talked about incorporating learning into daily routines and transitions, like counting to 20 as the children wash their hands. Outside, Jocelyn initiated the Red Light, Green Light race with the teachers. They all had fun participating! Afterwards, we emphasized how this also would be a fun way for children to learn. One of my favorite activities of the day was teaching the teachers hand clapping games! What great fun! We wrapped up the day by modeling Closing Circle by reviewing what we did today, talked about our favorite part of the day’s activities, and of course, we closed with a song :).


In reflecting upon the day, I think about how nice it is that, even though we and the teachers speak different languages and live so far away from each other, that we can come together to laugh and learn together…all with the same goal of educating and empowering the children and community.

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Melissa Holcombe

Melissa Holcombe is currently working as a My Teaching Partner Coach and Assessor in collaboration with First 5 California, the Child Development Training Consortium and Teachstone, Inc. Additionally, Melissa enjoys her adjunct position as a Child Development Instructor at San Bernardino Valley College. She holds a Masters of Education degree with a focus on early education and care. Melissa has twenty years of experience in the child development and education field. She is a member of the California Early Childhood Mentor Program and serves as a local/regional trainer. One of Melissa’s passions is developing and facilitating fun, interactive ECE workshops to teachers on topics related to increasing the quality of teaching in early child development classrooms. Melissa is excited to serve as an Expert Teacher Advisor on the Little Ripples project and is honored to be part of a wonderful project that will provide preschool services to thousands of children in Darfuri refugee camps.


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