During all four of the workshops we did for teachers at private schools in Arusha, there seemed one moment when the teachers got LTP and embraced the idea of this program. Whether we were doing a word association activity, making a photographic alphabet or just looking through the viewfinder of the camera, they seemed to love what they were doing.
The enjoyment that the teachers wrought from what they were doing was unadulterated and youthful. They came in with no knowledge of LTP, walking in with a bit of a swagger and often a sense of skepticism. But when they started taking pictures and looking at other teachers’ pictures, out came the belly laughs. We as students bonded with the teachers—at one school some teachers and I even brainstormed ideas for three different visual alphabet assignments. It was clear that they got it. And they liked it.
But you leave the three or four-hour workshop and you can’t help but wonder whether it really had an impact. Had we done any good? Would these teachers use the LTP Teacher Resource Center we are building in Arusha? Would what we taught them actually appear in their classroom or would everything be, quite literally, lost in translation?
My question was answered while working in the private schools. After first encounter with Patrick at the Arusha School reunion workshops and then again at the workshop at Shalom School where he teaches, it was clear that LTP had sunk in. Patrick facilitated everything for us and, along the way, we even encountered another teacher (Katherine) who had not been to the workshop but was asking us if she could bring cameras to her classroom after we left. Katherine was so involved that she helped lead the projects. She understood LTP and enjoyed the activities just as much as the students. For the sustainability of LTP in Arusha, these two teachers mean everything. For me, it’s confirmation that the work we are doing actually means something to the people here—not just me.