Teaching in Colombia

The plan was to provide professional development of teaching strategies and English instruction to a group of teachers for 3 days. The team was prepared, eager and ready to go. What we learned about ourselves and others was the true gift of this journey. 

Day 1
Our time together began with the basics;
the alphabet
vowel sounds

On the wall was a list of strategies that we added to as they were introduced. Many countries use a lecture format during class instruction, we wanted to acquaint them with some SIOP strategies to help students retain information!

We were pleasantly surprised at how "into it" the 20 plus teachers were. 

While teaching there were many times that I wondered if they thought that we were just plain crazy!

Day 2
All of the teachers came back! After a review the focus was on body parts, vowel sounds, family words, sequencing and sorting. Today was a little different than the first day, about 1/2 hour into the instruction the heavens opened, and the rain fell and fell and fell! The electricity went out, did I mention the hot temperature in Colombia and the humidity? The students scrambled to open windows and as they did the water began to pour into the building, onto the floor and quickly flowing towards all of our supplies, that were so nicely laid out! Now our team was scrambling! Someone turned to me and asked if we should cancel the day and send everyone home. "No way"! 

The class simply took a break and moved outside under the covered patio. One of our team members brought a set of Bal-a-Vis-X balls with her. Everyone had a great time using these balls.  I am not sure which was cooler, the rhythmic sound of the balls or the amazing rain storm splashing all around us! 

After the rain finished we returned to the inside instruction and continued to teach without electricity. Praise God that there was a breeze! Our last strategy of the day was rotating centers. The groups of students rotated through four centers learning and practicing English.

 Loved this day! I kept thinking that the people of Barranquilla must live with this torrential rain system all of the time. Recently I saw this video of what happens here, terrifying and eye opening.

Day 3, 
On this day the students came to us. The Lord had provided a comfortable, beautiful home for us to stay in.  The teachers would come for instruction and then stay for lunch. Many arrived a half an hour early! This was to be our final day of teaching with them and we wanted it to be spectacular! 
The focus today was on the use of pronouns, this, that, these and those, foods, Rosetta Stone and conversational practice. 

The students were excited to use the words that they had learned and often called one of the team over to help with pronunciations. It felt good to see the planning and prayer fulfilling the purposes that we had hoped for!

As our time was winding down, My husband, the team leader approached me and asked if we wanted to teach a 4th day. Originally this was what I wanted to do. Now in the moment, I was stressed out thinking about all of the logistics.  I know that I gave him the "What?" freak out stare! The team quickly agreed and we planned on regrouping and preparing that evening. Immediately, my mind went into planning and controlling mode. Within 10 minutes everything changed. Instead of tomorrow, we were asked to teach the 4th session right after lunch! 

Gulp, breathe, don't freak out, I told myself
This required a few moments with the team. As I broke the news to them, they were amazing. Let's do it! they all rallied together.  This would require the good old teacher stretch and pull it out method that all teachers understand! So much for planning time! Within 3 minutes we had the whole session planned out! Praise God!

 In that moment, my daughter also a teacher turned to me, looked me straight in the eyes and admonished me, "You're not going to like this, but remember how you wanted to teach 4 sessions and you were not happy that we only had 3? Well Maybe God is saying, Here is your 4th session. It's on my terms not yours." She was so right!  As usual God was teaching me to let Him be in control.

Teaching session 4
After a fabulous lunch of chicken, coconut rice and vegetables we returned to the classroom. I was excited to see how God was going to pull us through this time together!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Who knew that playing memory would be so much fun? Our culminating activity was conversational centers. Using, scrabble, comprehension  questions, fluency practice, sentence construction and answering questions to solidify the English language acquisition.  Session 4 was by far the best one! The students were so enthusiastic. As a teacher it is extremely rewarding to teach those who desire to learn. 

During our session reflection, our team was showered with compliments, hugs of appreciation and hearts that had become knit together. We are already planning a return trip. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting, Praying that you are blessed today. Jann

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Contact Us


Email *

Message *