About the Organization
Lwala Community Alliance is a nonprofit organization delivering services to 30,000 people in western Kenya. The Lwala Community Hospital provides primary care, maternal and child services, and HIV treatment. The Kenyan-founded organization also runs community programs in education and economic empowerment to support people in the region more comprehensively. The work has been featured by the Clinton Global Initiative, Apple, NPR, ABC World News, CNN, and in the documentary “Sons of Lwala.”
Overview of the Teacher Effectiveness Project
The teacher effectiveness project consisted of conducting a detailed literature review of best practices of teacher accountability from different countries. In the literature review, we made sure to include research from what had worked in similar contexts to Lwala, low-resource communities, communities in Africa and communities that had similarities to Lwala. We also ensured that we brought in best practices from different contexts. We asked questions such as; “what can we learn from places that were doing it right and how can we adapt these measures to our context?”
When building our measures we considered three main main components required for an effective teacher evaluation system which were; careful planning, variation across forms of evaluation instruments, and involvement of all stakeholders in the process of
Evaluation. Thus we had 3 instruments
- i) a rubric for administrators to complete assessing classroom observations
- ii) a self-evaluation form for teachers to complete and set goals for themselves
iii) a survey for students to complete regarding their learning experience.
We believed that these three dimensions would capture teacher effectiveness accurately.
During the course of the project, we had several challenges, the main one being that we were working remotely. It was difficult to design tools for schools and teachers we had not visited, but through skype calls and strong communication, different time zones notwithstanding, we were able to gather the information we needed to produce high quality tools and materials.
The collaborative nature of this project played to my strengths and I believe my enthusiasm was a great source of motivation when it got tough.