We survived our first week of classes! This week was not a normal week. They spent majority of the week getting ready for their Mother’s Day celebration! Mother’s day here is like Christmas. Actually every holiday is like Christmas here, including birthdays. They go all out for every single event. Both the English and Guatemalan teachers taught their kids songs and dances for them to perform for their mothers today. The kids dressed to the nines and gave their moms gifts that they had made by hand. Because of the holiday the kids do not have school tomorrow and will get to hang out with their moms all day!
We decided that the best way for you to understand what we are doing is for each of us to share a personal experience that we had this week.
Carli- I have already learned a ton in these first three days! The classrooms here, in Guat, are nothing like the classrooms in the US. The structure is different entirely and the kids are at different levels. Here it is not rude to interrupt and it is just loud in general. I went in expecting the kids to listen to me and do the worksheets we gave them, but this is not what happened. I realized the kids need one-on-one attention and when I would give it to them they actually were learning how to write in English. I try to speak to them only in English so that they become familiar with the language. I also have a new respect for all teachers! I am completely wore out by the end of the day! After this week I know how the classroom is structured and how the kids respond to certain styles of teaching. I am hoping to brain storms some new ways of teaching for next week and see how the kids respond!
Colt- Well..to get started I’m working with children not in the UPAVIM school kindergarten to 6th grade. These children only speak Spanish which has definitely enhanced my Spanish speaking abilities. I am currently teaching topics ranging from language to mathematics at every grade level. This was a lot easier said than done, because I had to learn the topics myself in Spanish from my co-instructor Raquel the morning of each lesson and all of the corresponding vocabulary. Examples being like finding area and perimeter of shapes like parallelograms, rhombus, and trapezoids , exponents and factorization, or even easy concepts such as subject and predicates! I could obviously teach these in English, but Spanish was a whole new experience; a positive one though. The kids are really responsive to our teaching and definitely benefit from it, so it makes it all worth it. I cannot wait to actually be apart of helping Raquel build the curriculum for the upcoming weeks. I’ll keep you guys posted on future successes and challenges.
Me (Mykala)- I have the absolute best job ever! I work with the Preschoolers and the Kindergartners teaching them English. In the morning we go to the two Preschool classrooms for a half hour each and sing songs that teach kids words that have to do with family and emotions. The kids absolutely adore us! Then in the afternoon we are in the Kindergarten class for three hours straight. We do a variety of English things that include stations, like math, library and house, singing songs and coloring. These kids are sooo smart!! I speak English the whole time and they understand majority of what I am saying, it is amazing!! They love the attention that they get when they get it right too. These kids seriously make my day everyday! They are so sweet! Also a thing with these kids is that they are sooo affectionate. When they leave they give you kisses on the cheek and hugs! Sweetest things in the world! Next week I know what to expect so I can go in more prepared and ready to teach!!
To all our mothers back in the states, we want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and we miss you!!
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