Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Matt Werner: Guatemalan Adventure #6

The first five parts of Matt's journal are available here: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Well, it has been a while since I have had the time to give an update from down here due largely in part to the long days I've been putting in at the school. However, I haven't missed a second of developments going on at Edgewood College.

I am happy to report that although the school year here got off to a late start due to a teacher's union strike, everything is back to normal and the teachers have returned. It appeared that the public school teachers here were unhappy about the tax hikes proposed during the summer vacation and voiced their opinions in a month long strike. However, they only were away for a month and instead of starting in late January they started in late February. The government succumbed to the union's requests and classes resumed.

I have fulfilled the role as roaming English professor and computer teacher. It was the best decision for me to move from classroom to classroom teaching 30 minute lessons to each grade from pre-school to sixth grade Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I give an hour long computer lesson to grades 4, 5, and 6. In a joint decision with the teachers, we decided it was best to only give lessons to those grades as the lack of computers and knowledge of the younger grades would cause a lot more problems than provide them with education. The school day runs from 7:30 am until 12 pm. They receive a government sponsored snack at their recess time (10:30am) but I still have not found out why they don't attend school for a longer day. However, I believe it has something to do with the government preferring to only pay teachers for half a day's work as opposed to a full day.

In the afternoon, I give my own private English classes open to all in the community. I never thought being a teacher required so much preparation and planning, much less a foreign teacher with a lack of resources. However, I will make it and I give kudos to all the teachers who are doing their best. I can't wait for Easter vacation because I will be visiting my family in Florida and making a special trip to see our Eagle baseball team play in Vero Beach (on March 28). I will see you all then!


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