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Teacher = Mentor


Leaders to look up to, professionals with a heart for the cause and a mind for effective and transformative education.


We choose and train educators who are passionate, mentally flexible, and have the ability to go far beyond the classroom to become mentors for our students. Listeners, caregivers, protectors, explorers – they go far beyond just “teaching”: our teachers offer holistic support in each student’s life so that each child can feel seen, heard, accepted and welcomed, just like in a family. In the Still I Rise family, teachers are a beacon of light in the darkness.
It is not easy to be all that and also be an expert in your field. And that’s why mentors are so valuable: our first line of battle to change the world.

Emotional intelligence

To educate, a teacher must first create an emotional bond with their student, and we recruit our teachers so that they have the ability to develop the soft skills necessary to do so. They are passionate about others, knowledge and life – in essence, they are grown children themselves. They act out of curiosity and humanity and know how to encourage their students every day through words and gestures of closeness, interest and attention.
Through closeness, teachers are able to build rapport, identify opportunities for natural learning moments, and identify instances of mental struggle or bullying. This can happen by sitting with a child at lunch, reading with them during recess, answering their questions in the Common Hall. If additional support is needed, students are referred to the School counselor.

Through a carefully structured recruitment process with interviews and practice tests, we find and select candidates who show they share our School’s values and who have the hunger, energy and ambition to use their ability to connect to raise the next generation of courageous leaders.

The X Factor

What qualities do we look for in teachers who are mentors? Rather than solely evaluating technical skills, academic background and formal qualifications, we focus on passion. We look for people who have leadership skills, entrepreneurial spirit, creative flair, and who understand how what we do in our Schools lays the foundation for deep and lasting social change.

Focusing on soft skills, we seek professionals who are full of enthusiasm and committed to challenging established norms. They are curious and experimental: it is their job each school year to not only implement our model but to test it and, if necessary, improve it, asking themselves questions such as “Do children learn better with this or that teaching strategy? Do students demonstrate a better understanding of a topic by reading or visiting a museum? How long can my extracurricular club be successfully run by students without requiring my intervention?”.

People with the X factor are curious and optimistic: they see untapped potential in children who have been abandoned and forgotten. Their drive to unleash this potential and transform their community makes them extraordinary.

Teachers of Life

Regardless of the subject each teacher teaches, all teachers are teachers of “life.” Inevitably, they are among the most important mentors children have ever had or will ever have. They are the beacon of how life can be lived.

Most of our staff comes from the same areas as our students, so they can relate to their trials and tribulations and share cultural nuances. In them the children see a positive and aspirational reflection of themselves.

At Still I Rise we accept the challenge of being conscious teachers of life. We try to teach life in its richness, rawness and variety: sex education, the nature of grief, how the job market works, how to take care of oneself, how to drive, time management, etc. We do this both naturally through holistic real-life projects such as club coordination, travel, and accountability, but also through sessions on “Life,” “Psychosocial Skills,” and “How to Learn.” Courses on those skills and competencies that we adults wish we had learned in school!

The importance of making mistakes

When risk-taking is a school value and we look for bold and ambitious experimenters, we have to accept that our teachers will make mistakes. This is part of the territory of experimenting with new things. As long as there is logic and care in planning, we know there can be setbacks or difficulties along the way.

This is the same environment we create for students. Mentors allow pupils to express their ideas and come up with solutions themselves wherever possible. This means that there is plenty of room for students’ mistakes, but when that happens, they are not shamed and embarrassed- they are instead gently pushed to ask and think their way out and get back on the right track.

We try to let students deal with personal issues on their own and solve problems among themselves as much as possible. During arguments, teachers dampen the tension but, whenever possible, allow students to find constructive dialogue and harmony on their own. Younger students with behavioral problems resulting from difficult backgrounds are given time to adjust to the routine, discipline, and support available.

Still I Rise

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