Today was our first day visiting a Chilean school, Colegio Maestra Elsa Santibañez. It is located in the southern outskirts of Santiago. This school was founded in 1928, and is named after its director, who lead the school from 1967-1981. Only about half of the students in Chile attend public schools, the other half attend private schools, which are generally viewed as more desirable for those who can afford to pay the tuition. More on that later.
Upon entering the school we were warmly welcomed by the staff. In the background courtyard there appeared to be dozens of young uniformed children enjoying their afternoon recess time, hooting, hollering, and generally having a grand old time.
As we were escorted along the courtyard, we were immediately swarmed by students. I told several teacher candidates, "this is what it feels like to be a rock star." They were curious, kind sweet, and we received many spontaneous hugs. Above, see IPDS participant Katie with several of her new BFFs.
We next visited a primary classroom. The teacher introduced our group and allowed students to ask us questions.
Here, the charming Onnika is being charmed by some little ones.
Next, onto a 7th grade English class where our IPDS group planned to present a lesson. When we walked in, the smells instantly transported back to my years as a 7th-9th grade teacher (what the seniors used to refer to as "freshman funk". It's good to know so many things are universal in the human experience. It was a little overwhelming being in a class with 32 7th graders, who were staring, whispering, and giggling at us. Again, typical middle schoolers. Our brave IPDS participant Rachel jumped right into her planned activity, with the assistance of Bryanna, Christine, Katie, and Onnika. It was all hands on deck to make this activity a roaring success (which it was)
The activity was well designed, planned and implemented, and it was obvious students were on task and engaged throughout. Several of the IPDS participants are returning to this school tomorrow afternoon, with an opportunity to visit a fourth grade classroom instead. If anyone told me that elementary level teacher candidates would be pleading to visit a 7th grade class instead of a fourth grade, I'd have told you I'd eat my shorts. Well, it's obvious why they all want to return. Great job ladies!
Hi. I'm an associate professor an Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the Exceptional Education Department at SUNY Buffalo State. This will be my first trip to Chile, it has been wonderful working with the students and my wonderful colleagues Drs. Patti and del Prado Hill. I look forward to another world adventure!