Third day in Bacolod: Teaching begins

Barefoot MBA group - Philippines
Barefoot MBA group - Philippines

BACOLOD CITY – The excitement in the room today was palpable as participants became teachers of the Barefoot MBA for the first time.

They eased into teaching, first by getting comfortable standing in front of a room during the daily morning review of what we’ve learned so far. Some didn’t need to acclimate: asked to teach others what they’d learned, they put on a lively skit mimicking a local newscast. Smiles turned to giggles turned to laughs as participants demonstrated how much they’d internalized the workshop so far.

With energy levels high, participants articulated how to keep their students engaged: stand up, make eye contact, apply lessons to students’ lives, smile. (This is, after all, known as the city of smiles.) After a couple role plays as students while we taught lessons from the Barefoot MBA, participants were eager to take center stage again.

Participants spent the afternoon preparing to teach in small groups the lessons they adapted yesterday, which last night we retyped and augmented with discussion questions. With props, games and pizzazz, groups taught their fellow participants about production and price and competition. Though their lessons were identical in some cases, pedagogies differed, underscoring the Barefoot MBA’s flexibility and adaptability – and reminding us how far we’ve come. Students articulated what they learned: know your audience, make them comfortable, be prepared, be flexible, don’t be distracted by details, practice. Practice, practice, practice.

Tomorrow we’ll continue to practice teaching, giving students as many opportunities as possible to practice what they’ve been learning before heading into the field on Friday to teach some of NWTF’s borrowers.

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