Still, she’s the first to tell you that she views herself as a student as much as an educator. She had a wake-up call this summer, days before she was to leave for Haiti to take part in an educator training trip through Functional Literacy Ministry Haiti (FLM).
“(FLM board member and part-time university supervisor for Chatham University) Dr. Rhonda Taliaferro asked me if I had gotten my training materials translated. Translated! I hadn’t even thought of that, but of course, they had to be in French or in Haitian Creole,” she says.
With help from her network of friends and associates, Good was able to get the materials translated.
FLM was founded by Dr. Leon Pamphile, a Haitian who moved to the U.S. when he was 17. He received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and taught French in the Pittsburgh Public School District for 32 years. He was aware of the dismal literacy rate in his native country, and wanted to do something about it.
Good applied and was accepted to the program, and joined a team of twelve educators from across the country who arrived in Haiti to provide professional development to teachers from 19 schools across the small island nation. Good’s areas of expertise—partnerships between schools, families and communities—were very much in demand.
“To be a high school teacher in Haiti, you don’t need a college degree or even a certification,” says Good. “So they’re eager to learn not only strategies for classroom management, or how to support students who are excelling or falling behind, but also how they, as educators, can partner with others to create the best outcomes for their students.”
“Classrooms usually have about 60 students with one teacher,” says Good, noting that that’s about double the size of a U.S. classroom “They sit on long benches, with no space to keep schoolbooks or supplies.”
Good held workshops on how teachers and schools can partner with families and use community resources to support culturally relevant learning. And everyone showed up to hear—not just teachers, but also parents and community members. “Parents brought their kids too!” Good laughs.