Supporting teachers

Teachers change lives.

Bridge is empowering a new generation of trained, prepared and supported teachers.

Empowering and supporting teachers through their careers is essential. A great teacher does more than impart knowledge, they are also an inspiration, a mentor and a friend.

Unfortunately, it is often the children most in need of good teachers that have the least access.

  • Over 69 million new teachers will be needed worldwide to reach the education 2030 development goals.
  • Governments struggle to recruit and retain teachers, especially in remote rural areas and conflict-affected areas, the very areas where the majority of out-of-school children live.
  • There is a real problem with teacher absenteeism in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, for example, teachers are absent from the classroom for 48% of the school day while In Uganda this rises to 57%, with no means of monitoring and ensuring their presence. A child cannot learn without a teacher in class.
  • Many teachers are poorly trained and badly supported. In Kenya, 67% of teachers failed to pass an exam based on the subject they teach themselves.

Bridge has demonstrated that with training, support and resources, average teachers can become great teachers, and great teachers can change lives:

  • Bridge seeks to recruit entirely from the communities in which we serve, providing local talent with the opportunity to be trained as a teacher and to become leaders and role models within their communities.
  • Bridge complies with government requirements for teacher certifications and works with governments to find practical solutions in areas with severe teacher shortages.
  • Bridge’s Measurement and Evaluation team work closely with government bodies to understand which teacher training and support techniques are most effective, and which teacher demographics may indicate a stronger or weaker efficacy in the classroom.
  • Bridge works in partnership with National Teacher Training Colleges to better support all teachers to be prepared to empower children to learn.
  • All Bridge teachers go through an additional custom designed, 235-hour, pre-service residential training course and are provided with continual training throughout their career, both in and out of the classroom. This benefits both Bridge classrooms and the wider education system should they move on.
  • Bridge’s training focuses on creating a pupil-centred classroom, where teachers spend the majority of the lesson engaging with pupils and checking for understanding.
  • Each Bridge teacher is equipped with a tablet onto which they upload teachers’ guides for over eight hours of engaging lessons a day, freeing them from the demands of lesson planning and allowing them to focus on children’s learning. Teacher guides, have been proven as the best way of delivering learning gains and are part of formal USAID policy in Africa, such as the Tusome programme in Kenya
  • Bridge teachers face a minimal administrative burden freeing them to do what they love the most – to teach.
  • Bridge teachers have constant support from education specialists, both local and global, and receive weekly training and professional coaching.
  • Bridge enforces a strict ban on corporal punishment removing fear from the classroom and creating a strong relationship between teachers and pupils.
  • Teaching at Bridge provides teachers with income security and employment benefits, and a stepping stone to a better future.

Meet Teacher Job who works at a Bridge Academy in Ichuga, Kenya who has a passion for teaching.

“Before I joined Bridge, teaching was simply a way to earn a living”, he says, “but since joining Bridge it has become a vocation. At my old school, we had to prepare all our schemes and lessons, there were not enough books, no one cared whether I was teaching or storytelling, and breaks and lunch were extremely long. The kids were losing out.

Since joining Bridge I have the skills I need to motivate all pupils to behave and try hard, and the materials to make sure they are learning.” Job went through Bridge’s teacher training program and changed his whole perspective on teaching. “I asked myself: how could I teach pupils by reading from a computer? What I came to learn was that the teachers’ computers allow me to teach each lesson in the best way possible. The best part of a Bridge lesson is that it actually prevents the teacher from just reading. Pupils spend most of their time practising.”

In his spare time, Job takes his pupils on field trips to learn about society and the environment. He is a friend and a mentor to his pupils, who in turn credit him with helping them dream and succeed.

See why Bridge believes great teachers mean great classrooms: