Peru- An Educational Viewpoint

Posted on January 14th, 2014 by

Today was our second day with students here at the parish, and it was a different experience than yesterday, to say the least. As was already state, yesterday, we didn´t know how many kids to expect or what their English capabilities were. However, all groups just “went with it” and did the best we could- and it was a really great day, despite the low number of students that actually showed up.

Today there were certainly more students that came, which was wonderful to have happen. While we had a class of roughly 9 students yesterday with the 10 year olds- depending on the time of day you are looking at- today we had 18 show up! It was awesome to see their smiling faces and the excitment in their eyes. Even though many of us on this J-term have limited Spanish speaking abilities, we are able to often communicate with our students through our actions and expressions, likewise when they try and communicate with us.

Being an education major myself, I have come to realize that there is so much that I will learn through these students. Even though it is day 2, I have noticed that when I am more dramatic or use more expression than is probably necessary, the kids get to much more into the content we are teaching. For example, our 10 year old group today began working on an ABC book in English. First, before even making the book, we went through a few letters from the beginning of the alphabet- since they are pronounced differently in Spanish. When we got to the letter E, they pronounced it as if it were Spanish (A), we would have them stop, fix the mistake and then say it extremely loud. Even if they were shouting, we looked at them as though we could not hear them, and they would laugh and say it even louder. It goes to show, despite a communication barrier, making learning fun and engaging is a big part in making successful students.

Finally, my group has seemed to really notice that in order to get many of these students back in our class each day we need to show them we care. Building relationships with the kids and earning their trust/friendship will help encourage them to return each day and put forth their very best effort.

While there is much more we can teach these students, there is just as much as we can learn from them as well.

-Kara Peterson


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