These last couple of days have been amazing! I've had the opportunity to conduct an interactive read aloud activity with 7th graders at a private school called Colegio Universitario Ingles. I had the students write on white boards what they know about Pablo Neruda and then share with the class what they wrote in English. I was excited to learn more about Neruda mainly because of his positive influence on Chilean culture and literature. Some students shared that Neruda was a Chilean poet others mentioned his many houses he owned in various places in Chile that are now beautiful museums (Casa de Isla Negra, La Chascona, and La Sebastiana). Afterwards, I asked the students to jot down new facts they learn as I read the book Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People.
I was surprised how engaged the students were throughout the read aloud. They were so attentive and I could tell they enjoyed the book a lot. Many students shared the new facts they learned with the class and I, such as Neruda’s legal name Neftali. This field placement was my favorite of all; I realized how important student engagement is in the classroom. Interactive read alouds are indeed essential and useful for teaching new vocabulary and content to students. I enjoyed teaching, learning, and interacting with the students it truly made my day.
I enjoy being able to explore the different neighborhoods and schools in Santiago. It has reminded how important it is to learn about the culture of others. We all come from various backgrounds and have experienced different walks of life. At the end of the day, the ability to share our interests and appreciate the differences of others is what makes us better teachers and therapists but most importantly better people as a whole. Culture competence is an integral part of positive professional and personal development. I plan to continue to build upon this factor throughout my life journey.