10-1-17  |  Partnership Success Success Story

The beloved teacher Sulema

BY: Anisha Pai


The cheerful shouts and chatter of the children in the schoolyard are audible as Sulema begins to share her story. Sulema is a teacher at a public elementary school in Cusmapa, who teaches first and second grade students.

Sulema believes that for the students, “the most important thing is to receive the information and put it into practice.” Fabretto has helped Sulema provide her students with the ability to take this crucial step. Thanks to a partnership between Fabretto and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education (MINED), Sulema has been attending Fabretto’s teacher trainings for the past nine years. Before Fabretto started holding these trainings, none existed for teachers in Cusmapa.

Fabretto’s trainings have taught Sulema how to use hands-on techniques such as Montessori, instead of traditionally standing at the front of the class and lecturing. Sulema tells a story about a time when these strategies proved their efficacy. There was a girl in Sulema’s first grade class who had difficulty writing vowels. First, Sulema encouraged her to trace the vowels on sandpaper. Then, Sulema guided the student’s hand as she practiced drawing the vowels in a box of sand. Finally, the girl learned how to write the vowels in her notebook.

In the Fabretto trainings, teachers learn how to recycle materials which they can find in their hometowns to create teaching materials which are used in Montessori schools, like sandpaper and sandboxes. Sulema says “Fabretto helps us [the teachers of Cusmapa] in a very tangible way – I know they are truly on our side.” The best thing is that the techniques from the Fabretto trainings are spreading through the monthly meetings that MINED teachers have in Cusmapa.


A group of students who Sulema had taught a few years ago come running up to their former teacher, and present her with a card. “It is a card for Women’s Day,” explains Sulema. There is pure love in her voice as she praises the beauty of the butterflies and hearts the students have drawn on the card. Sulema says that to be a good teacher, you need enthusiasm. It is clear that she has boundless enthusiasm, and that she will continue to have a great impact on the boys and girls of Cusmapa.


In honor of WORLD TEACHER DAY, support more teachers like Sulema by donating towards Fabretto’s Teacher Training program.



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