Day 1- Jutiapa, Guatemala
I was very surprised to find myself more excited to begin teaching than I was nervous. . .
My grandmother's home is right next to the school in which I would be teaching. Due to the kids still being in school, I had to teach after their regular classes, 9-12 a.m, which was at 1 in the afternoon. All morning I was filled with nervousness but anticipation to begin.
When the time finally came, I took my suitcase full of materials to the school and prepared myself for what came next.
I first began by introducing myself, the Chicos and Kids organization, and rules of the classroom. Following that, I had each of the students introduce themselves and say one or two things about themselves.
To begin our lesson, as we would each of the following days of class, we sang the Good Morning Song. I explained to the students what the song was saying and that we would be singing it every day even though classes were in the afternoon.
The rest of our class consisted of the alphabet, vowels, numbers 1-30, colors, animals, and to finish off the class, reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?".
The students are working hard to keep up on the note taking!
After reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?, we played the fly swatter game using the animals from the book to help remember the animals and colors. They loved playing the fly swatter game so much!
By the time I had gone through my entire schedule, we had some time left over before our 3-hour class ended so I took advantage of the time by teaching the kids an american game. I taught them both Heads Up Seven Up and 4 Corners- they preferred Heads Up Seven Up.
Prior to beginning the class, I was given a list of eleven students that I would be teaching but two additional kids showed up with eagerness to learn. All who I had in my group of 13 participated, took notes and were so eager to learn the English language. By the end of the class, all the children left with smiles on their faces and I was completely satisfied with how the day went.
Being in a leadership position as a counselor/teacher at Chicos and Kids in Colombia gave me a sense of purpose. It made me feel older and wiser; as someone who the kids looked up to.
Stephanie was recently announced a 2015 Peace First Prize finalist for her work with Chicos and Kids. Her peacemaking work has been recognized nationally along with twenty-six other young peacemakers.
I originally planned on the last day of class to be Tuesday, but since the children had no school on Monday and the principal allowed them to come in anyways, we combined both classes into one. In the first two hours of class I planned on having our last lesson.
Today's lesson was crammed with A LOT of information! I let the students know before hand to stay alert and pay attention.
After our usual Good Morning Song and short review, we quickly got into learning the family members. I learned a tad bit myself in this lesson and from the children!
Most of today's class consisted of hair: hair types, lengths and colors.
We incorporated "I have" to create more sentences! Each student was assigned to construct an accurate sentence of what type of hair they had. Fortunately, everyone had a paper that they used as a reference which included the different hair types, lengths and colors. They could all use a break from taking notes!
Today was our third day of class already! Three days down, three more to go.
As for every class, we began with a short review. Having been taught a lot yesterday, there was a large quantity that was reviewed, so every person got the chance to go up to the board to match words or fill in the blanks at least twice.
It's 7:30 a.m. but I am wide awake and the children are ready to learn.
After the Good Morning Song and a short review of yesterday's first lesson, we jumped right into learning something new-verbs. I had a handful of verbs translated for them, but I also gave them the opportunity to ask me what verbs they wanted to know that I had not mentioned. The asking could have gone on forever!
A second mission I vow to achieve. . . . .
From my grandmother's house in Jutiapa, Guatemala, from my fathers side, we traveled to Huehuetenango, Guatemala, where my second grandmother lives, from my mother's side. Upon arriving, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were so enthusiastic about me teaching English classes! It really helped by giving me confidence and reassurance of teaching another English class.
Today was our final day of class. . .
I was filled with several different emotions; from sadness, to pure relief, to gratitude and pride.
Today's final day consisted of a large review, from the first day of class to yesterday's lesson, from simple colors, to creating complex sentences. I was so pleased with how they knew everything from the start!