Today I taught my first lesson to the children with David as translator. We felt it was time to begin the transition from Carolyn delivering all the lessons in Spanish to a new format that will feature a collaborative teaching approach in the weeks ahead. Carolyn and Bill will be leaving Monday of next week and the new mentors will have completed all 30 training lessons. From then on the mentors will take on the primary responsibility of presenting the material with my support and facilitation. By the end of the pilot the goal is that all of the mentors will be both confident and competent in delivering the training to other mentors and students. The ‘teach a man to fish and he will continue to thrive’ philosophy.

The children were receptive although I know there are a few young boys in the class who are carrying a crush on this lovely yellow haired young woman who has graced their world as a teacher for this short while. Ruben for one spent many guarded moments creating a sketch of an ‘amarillo’ haired ‘Carolina’, an ultimate tribute to her. And Marvin practiced the word ‘handsome’ in English over and over before getting up the nerve to approach Carolyn and blurt it out with a smile. He was trying to say she was pretty in the best way he knew.

The lesson acquainted the class with the supply bin and some of its contents. They became familiar with the difference between objects and sketches and then were introduced to the text tool. Their task for the day was to create three signs using both the objects and text. At the end of the class they shared their messages with one another. We had vendors of tomato’s, and ice cream, no littering and no smoking signs, and most unusual for us gringos, but without qualms to the class, pork skins with hair.

We are trying to arrange for a celebration/sharing event on Saturday. An opportunity for the children to introduce and show their families just what they have been up to these past two weeks. At the moment transportation is an issue. The camp is quite a distance from the school and the children’s families do not have the means to get there. We have decided to look into the possibility of a bus. If that doesn’t materialize we will hold an event at the school, with ice cream and snacks.

The ants and mosquitoes were prolific and particularly feisty and biting in the late afternoon as we reconvened. Everyone, other than Marcial, is keeping up pace and “getting it.” Marcial has many obligations as principal and is often drawn away from the lesson. He recognizes that he is not “mastering the material” but he is gaining a real appreciation and overview of the course, the XO’s and the implications for the future. This in and of itself is very important for the potential and realization of the next stage of the overall project.

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