Sunday, November 29, 2009

...enthusiastic teachers

The reason for my trip to Mexico was to teach English teachers strategies for teaching English. How's that for a mouthful? David and I each had about 20 students in our classes. Most of mine teach in what's called a "telesecundaria," which is a rural school, equivalent to our 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. The "tele" part means they are connected to a program via satellite, so all over the state (country?) students are tuning in for a lesson at the same time, then their teacher expands on it. This is a money saving move on the part of the government. Several of the teachers in my group had 30-50 students all day long and are responsible for teaching all subject areas--including English, even if they themselves don't speak it well.

It was a fun, intense, busy time with them. They participated willingly in whatever I asked of them. Most of them are pretty traditional teachers so I appreciated that they were so cooperative. They made my job easy. On our last night together they presented me with a beautiful silver necklace and earrings, and someone read a poem. It was very touching. They also ordered in pizza to share. They felt badly about me missing Thanksgiving with my kids and talked about organizing a real meal, but after working all day and some of them driving over an hour to class, it was decided that pizza would have to do. It was the most non-traditional Thanksgiving I have ever experienced, but it was wonderful.

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