Teacher Profile: U Kawvida
U Kawvida and his two sisters were born and raised in Khat Lan Kan village near the famous city of Bagan, known for its over 2,000 historic pagodas. He has been involved in religion from a very early age and has spent most of his life as a monk and studying or teaching in a monastery. In 1993 the Myanmar government allowed monastic schools to reopen, after having previously been shut due to the 1988 uprising. Along with his old abbot, he decided to return to Khat Lan Kan to run the village’s local monastic school. Rather than opting to teach a traditional Buddhist curriculum, he and his fellow monks studied guidebooks and teaching strategies that aligned more with those of the government’s. When the original head abbot passed away in 2008, U Kawida was appointed to run the school.
Today, U Kawvida still resides and runs the school, where he most enjoys the moments when he gets to lead active discussions with engaged students. He’s also passionate about learning new things himself, particularly when in the industrial vain. Recently, when the school needed a water purifier, he took it upon himself to do his own research and visit other facilities to learn how purifiers work and how to install and maintain them.
U Kawvida is always thinking about ways to improve and upgrade his school in order to best serve current and future students. One way he actively pursues this goal is in his involvement in Studer Trust’s Teacher Training Center courses. This year, after having completed both the English training course and the Summer Online Course, he was excited and eager to sign up for the Alumni Training Course when it was offered. Despite in-person training being his preferred way of learning, the methodology and teaching style of Studer Trust’s TTC made him feel it was still worth it to take the Alumni Online Course.
Attending the AOC was not without its challenges. As someone less familiar with online trainings, he had a bit of trouble getting in the flow, particularly when it came to accessing the right videos for each session. On top of that, his area receives poor cellular service, so he took each lesson from the top of a nearby hill where reception was better. Despite these obstacles, U Kawvida persevered and successfully completed the course. Of all the topics covered, “Friendly Controversy”, which covered classroom management skills, was his favorite.
Currently U Kawvida is discussing and workshopping with the rest of the teachers at Khat Lan Kan Ywar Oo school on the best ways to implement the skills and methods of teaching he learned in the AOC. U Kawvida is a person that’s shown leadership throughout his entire life, and Studer Trust is excited and proud to see him continuing to learn and grow with our help.