“Behavior change begins with knowledge change,” she said.
But beyond improving classroom teachers’ knowledge, Zelaya and P4H are working to change the culture in Haiti to value teachers more. One way they’re doing this is by creating a National Teacher of the Year Award. Starting in 2021, one finalist from every department in Haiti is selected to compete for the national title. “They are valued professionals, and we want to celebrate them — and the profession,” she said.
Despite P4H’s international recognition, Zelaya is staying focused on their goals. “We want to reach more teachers in Haiti. We have the desire to reach 100% of teachers.” She also believes that their model can benefit teachers in other countries. “Haiti can serve as an example of how (the culture of) teaching can be transformed by putting teachers at the center.”
“At the end of the day, teachers are the motors of the school.”