Thursday, November 26, 2009

International Blog - Post 4

Yesterday was actually our last day with the students at San Ambrosio. I only went to one class period, with my first graders, where we did a final journal entry for them to talk about vacation. After the first class period the whole school walked over to the Catholic church for mass. After mass everyone went back to the school and there were groups of students who did dances and skits for the teachers, the madres, and their peers. I think I speak for all three of us here when I say that it was distasteful and that there isn´t really any pictures I would feel comfortable to post from it. The dancing was done by 4th & 6th grade girls along with a group that had come from Santa Cruz. It was something you would usually see out in a club and it was very inappropriate for their age and given the setting... I mean, we´d just come from mass! Anyway, this was our last week with our students at San Ambrosio, and tomorrow Kayla, Jerry and I are leaving in the morning to go to Ostional since the last day at school is just a big party for all of the kids. Today is Thanksgiving, so of course we´re having a Thanksgiving Dinner over at Karla´s with as much American food as we can eat!

Overall I have enjoyed the cultural experience and working with the students at San Ambrosio. One of the most important things I think I will take away from this is the importance of classroom management. We talk about it in our classes at App, but aren´t necessarily showed how to implement it. Some people may get good experience wtih it in one of the internships we have, depending on their cooperating teacher. I knew that it was important before ever coming to Costa Rica, but my appreciation for it has definitely sky-rocketed.

It is absolutely imperative for teachers to set the standard on the very first day of school and post the (short) list of rules in their room as a visible reminder all year long. It is just as important to be consistent in disciplining students for their behavior or they won´t take the rules or you seriously. Then the rest of the year will be one giant headache. Students need to realize that there are consequences for their behavior, which can be rewards or punishments, and they will receive what is appropriate and necessary in order for the class to go smoothly.

We came at the end of their school year, so it is near impossible to implement new rules and have them adhere to them when you only see a class for one period a day. I dont feel as though our being here has had that much of an impact on the students´ behavior in class or on their respect for their (English) teachers or each other, but I can only hope that it will improve in the future. The kids here are happy, sweet and fun to be around, but they have some room to improve in the classroom.

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