Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I just keep learning...

The majority of the people here really want to learn from us. I am constantly asked questions about America and how we teach at home. As much as I like to tell, I also enjoy observing lessons and the daily routine in the classroom. I find there are similarities in the classrooms between America and Belize as well as differences. In American schools, I find we focus more on detail. For example, how to write letters, numbers, sounding out words, etc. Whereas in the class I am teaching in, as long as the letter or number looks similar to the ‘correct’ way than it is acceptable. The lessons are taught more on a surface level. I was surprised to learn how the Infant II (kindergarten) class is writing in cursive and print as well as in English and Spanish. The Belizean students are taught that when they want to speak they raise their hand. Once they are called on, the get out of their chair and stand up to respond. I found this interesting, but this is one way they show respect toward the teacher.

Reading is something we put a big emphasis on, but not necessarily true in Belize. The teacher does not read to her students, in fact we do not have books in the classroom. The students have their workbooks but no Dr. Seuss, Patricia Polacco or children books. Yet, the students still seem to read at an adequate level.

Funny story. Today I was asking my students about what they knew about United States. One girl raised her hand and said she knows there is a queen that stands in the water holding a torch. I replied to tell her that queen is called the statue of liberty and she insisted that it was not, but rather the queen. I love to hear what the students think about the United States because they have never visited there.

I am really learning about the Belizean culture and am enjoying it. The students are teaching me a lot. I realize how fortunate the majority of American students are when I tell the Belizean students I will bring them new pencils. It was the best present because now they will not have to share pencils or erasers. So tomorrow I will be bringing a new pencil for each of my 12 students.

1 comment:

  1. Grandpa & GrandmaMarch 27, 2009 at 6:52 AM

    We sent a blog on the 27th and it got posted as the 22nd not the 27th. Sorry!!!! and the computer does not understand the and symbol