Empowering Teachers Across the World
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Casey Hall is a Fine Arts Support Teacher and Music Specialist for Fulton County Schools. But next year he’ll be relocating to Uganda for the month of July to be part of teacher training program. Peach talked to Casey about this incredible journey, and the difference it is going to make in his and other’s lives.
Casey describes his job teaching music to elementary school kids as ‘quite literally the cutest/best job in the world.’ In addition to teaching, he gets the opportunity to share his teaching experience through supporting and cozaching other music teachers within South Fulton County to enhance student achievements within their own music classrooms. This comes in the form of traveling to other schools, providing curricular, behavioral, and classroom management support, as well as implementing professional development opportunities for teachers to continue to develop their craft.
That same talent for coaching other teachers has earned him a spot on a teacher exchange program in Uganda in July of next year, that will not only impact the teachers in Uganda but more importantly the students.
You have been selected as a member for the Limited Resource Teacher Training (LRTT) Uganda Fellowship for Summer of 2019 – Tell us about what that is.
LRTT works in close partnership with Great Lakes Regional University in the Bwindi District, Southwest Uganda to promote high-quality education through teacher training. Working in partnership with the Kanungu District Education Office, teachers from 35+ primary and secondary schools are part of the training program. The team will conduct lesson observations during school term time to deepen the understanding of challenges faced by teachers in a rural Uganda context. These observations play a part in shaping the upcoming LRTT training during the team’s collaborative planning sessions. The team will co-facilitate LRTT workshops within the network or Ugandan Lead Teachers. The course aims to introduce participating Ugandan teachers to a range of teaching strategies in the classroom that they can practice and embed into their own teaching practice. The course is structured as a series of group workshops, micro-teaching, and peer observations. Afterward, through a cycle of observations and reflective coaching sessions, LRTT fellows work closely with the Ugandan teachers to embed these new approaches and empower teachers to experience real change in their classrooms. This feedback cycle also helps to inform us tailoring the sessions for future workshops.
Why do you think you were chosen for this program?
If you know me at all (or have yet to get to know me), you’d know that I have a huge passion for education. In my years of teaching music to children, getting a master’s degree, a culturally proficient coaching endorsement, presenting at numerous education conferences (regional, national, and international), as well as joining Fulton County’s Fine Arts Support Team, I’ve come to realize the incredible power of supporting teachers to ultimately drive student achievement in their classrooms. I believe I was chosen for this program because of my passion for supporting educators be the best they can be—wherever and whoever they are! I am honored and humbled to be considered and selected to be a part of this team to really make a difference!
What will your work consist of once you make it to Uganda?
The 2019 Uganda fellowship aims to support and improve the quality of education through a cycle of professional development workshops, collaboration, coaching, and observations. Our team will be working alongside Ugandan teachers to enhance, learn, and improve the educational systems in the Bwindi District of Uganda.
Do you have to meet specific requirements or obligations before you go?
In order to accomplish this task, I must raise roughly $7,000. These funds will be used to offset the cost of the trip’s expenses which include travel, insurance, vaccinations, travel visas, accommodation, meals, transport, small excursions, Ugandan education conference costs, support, and trainings. Please understand that the money raised does not go to my own personal bank account. It will go directly to helping support our efforts in Uganda to develop teacher practice for the sake of Ugandan students.
What do you hope to achieve with this work?
I am incredibly honored to have been selected as a member for the Limited Resource Teacher Training (LRTT) Uganda Fellowship for Summer of 2019. Using my knowledge and skills as an educator and instructional coach here in the States, I will have the opportunity to share various instructional strategies, behavioral/classroom management techniques, and curriculum support to teachers in rural Uganda for the month of July 2019. It is my hope that the work that we do in Uganda will ultimately impact the lives of Ugandan students in the future!
Here’s How You Can Help Casey Go to Uganda
“Any amount will be beneficial in helping me reach my goal. I really appreciate any help you could give, and I am honored to be selected to help out in Uganda!”
– Casey Hall