English Language Fellow Ann Cocks joined Peace Corps Volunteers and a Fulbright alumna to design a practical teaching workshop for Namibian educators. Over four days, the Fellow and Peace Corps Volunteers and their Namibian counterparts came together to focus on literacy training for learners in grades 4–7. Funded by a U.S. Department of State grant and administered by the University of Namibia, the training focused on strategies for creating engaged classrooms, teaching core skills, and supporting learner-centered English literacy instruction. “I learned how to teach my auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners all in one class with simple and easy strategies,” one participant reported. Along with tips and strategies, each participant also received a toolkit of resources to help deliver instruction and create classroom materials. “I can’t wait to go back to school and inform other teachers about what we learned,” one remarked.
Cocks noted that the event was particularly significant for ensuring Peace Corps Volunteers and the Namibian teachers they work with the opportunity to collaborate on curriculum development and talk about ways to strengthen English teaching in Namibia. Trainers introduced practical strategies tailored to a Namibian syllabus. Together, the participants built a strong community of practice and set goals that will be revisited at the next training in June. They even crafted a pledge to guide themselves, which read in part: “We plan to support each other, work together to learn from each other, and improve our community through regular, professional interactions on Facebook, on WhatsApp and at our schools until we meet again.”