We are leaving in about 24 hours and I am close to finishing up my packing! I am pretty proud of this since I would typically be about to start packing at this time. This year, I got an early start as I had some extra packing to do. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Hank Mann, we were able to get a faculty award grant to purchase a variety of classroom materials to demonstrate and donate in the classrooms in Santiago.
For the past couple of months, I have had delivery after delivery from Amazon to my home. This has included over 100 children’s picture books, 20 classroom sets of student whiteboards, miscellaneous other materials, and duffel bags to transport everything to Chile. My poor mail woman – I am sure I am not her favorite person right now! One of the boxes was so heavy the post office would not even deliver it!
These pictures show some of the instructional materials (along with Buffalo State frisbees compliments of the School of Education) and the mess I made in my exercise room trying to inventory and organize everything. Once everything was accounted for and organized, I kept some for myself and distributed the rest among students who were willing to lug a few extra pounds (approximately 15.2 pounds per bag) along to Chile.
The students have designed instructional activities using the materials. We are hoping to have the opportunity to conduct the activities and research the Chilean teachers’ perceptions of their effectiveness. Then, we plan to donate the materials and activity directions so they can be used once we are gone.
I know the students are excited to share their activities and I am excited to see the responses of the Chilean teachers and students. We are also interested in learning what student engagement looks like in Chile and what strategies teachers use to engage their students. We will have the opportunity to visit about 5 or 6 different schools in Santiago this year. I am sure we will learn so much!
As I prepare for my 3rd trip to Santiago, Chile with the IPDS Chile program, I can honestly say I am as excited as I was the first time around. The excitement is different this time. This time, I know what to expect and have less concern over what will happen, how things will go, etc. But, because I know how wonderful my experience was the past two times, I am thrilled to be returning to do it all over again.
I am most excited to have the opportunity, along with my colleagues - Pixita and Raquel, to lead the group of students as they discover Santiago, Spanish language, the Chilean culture, and much about themselves, both personally and professionally. We have had the opportunity to come together as a family in our weekly class sessions this spring and will soon embark on our 3 weeks of travel as a group. I am looking forward to learning and growing alongside my students and colleagues, and developing a host of new memories which will surely make the special place in my heart for Santiago, Chile grow even larger!
Hi. I'm a professor in the Exceptional Education Department at SUNY Buffalo State. I am thrilled to be heading back to Chile for the 3rd time for IPDS Chile 2017. I am looking forward to experiencing all Santiago has to offer, continuing to practice my Spanish skills, and guiding our wonderful group of student participants through this amazing experience!