Friday, May 23, 2014

So Far, So Good...

Yesterday was the first day of teaching for myself and my partner, Adria. We taught three classes of little niños, in preschool and kindergarten at Central. All three lessons focused on teaching colors in English. The first class held the youngest kids, but they were all participatory and excited for us to be there. Their teacher was present for our class and helped us with keeping the classroom structured. Each session lasted thirty minutes, which is good considering the kids started to get antsy in the last five or ten minutes of class. After the first session, Adria and I played with the kids at recess, and we taught them how to play Ring Around the Rosie and Duck Duck Goose. The teachers also gave us fresh piña for a snack, which was such a treat! The next session after recess held the oldest kids, and this time their teacher was not present for our lesson. However, this was not a bad turn of events because these students were the most excited to learn English. They informed us that they knew a little bit of English, and told us the phrases they knew, like “how are you,” and “good morning.” By the time Adria and I taught the third lesson, we were completely comfortable in our environment. For part of an activity involving colors, we asked the students to point to things in the room for each color. For red, they pointed to Adria’s red shirt and some red posters hanging on the walls. For green, they pointed to plants and the green walls. For white, they pointed to me. I told them they were correct.

Classtime at Cooperativa

Today Adria, Ginny and I taught English to the teachers at Central. This was rewarding because it was obvious how interested the teachers were, and they picked up the lesson extremely well. We focused on forming sentences with the “to be” verb. As an activity, the teachers received a cut-out picture from the newspaper and formed sentences to describe the people in the pictures. They had fun with this activity. At the end of class, we asked the teachers what they wanted from us in the next two lessons. In learning that they all primarily want material to teach their students, Manna has come up with a plan for a sustainable project. We will create English curriculum for teachers of each grade so that when we leave, they still have something to hold on to from us. We are excited about this project because it will allow us to leave our mark, but more importantly, give the teachers what they want.

Rainy season is here, and everything is starting to become green again.

All in all, this has been a great two weeks. I have never been out of the country, so I was naturally nervous to leave my comfort zone. The people I’m volunteering with and the relentless positive energy I receive from my Manna supervisors make me feel like I can do anything. I look forward to my next two weeks.

Not a bad way to start the day...

- Kathleen, MPIG Summer Intern 

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