- Steve Sider
- I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Supporting English language development ... and forming relationships: Laurier teacher candidate perspectives
The following was written by the Laurier teacher candidates who are participating on the Haiti Listening and Learning Team.
Today was the last day of teaching in Haiti for the Laurier Teacher Education Candidates. After 3 days of preparing lessons and thinking of helpful ways to engage the students and teach them what they wanted to learn in English, it is hard to believe it is coming to an end.
We got to the Regina Assumpta Girls School where we would be teaching for two and a half hours in the morning. The girls came in on their holiday to participate in an English class with us. These were the girls that the TECs had met on our first day in the schools. One group learned basic conversational English skills such as family, food and conversation starters. The other group learned pronunciation, and did little skits about meetings and greetings. Both classes learned a little bit about Canada.
Throughout the week we have been arriving at the school during one of their recess breaks. Everyday they play a version of king’s court dodge ball. There was a big tournament happening between classes through the week so we couldn’t play with them. Today in break, the TECs got an opportunity to play the game.
All 20 members of our group met at Lakay restaurant for lunch. It was the first time in a week that we got to choose what we ate, and we all took advantage of that. There was a lot of conch, pork and cashew chicken.
After lunch we headed to Susan Schuenke and taught our last class with them. The TECs have working with the same groups for the entire week. The students are in a 4-day English program that ran after school each day for upper year students. Over the week one group focused on basic conversational English and interacted with Canadian students via snail mail. The other group focused on meetings and greeting, and building conversations using skits.
At the end of the class, we combined the two groups for a certificate ceremony. Both the Canadian and Haitian national anthems were sung proudly. Students received a certificate of completion, Canadian pins and hats for participating in the program. Students were really grateful for their opportunity to learn English and we were grateful for the opportunity to teach them.
Overall we had an amazing week teaching English to the Haitian students and learned a lot from the invaluable experience. As we type this we are already getting messages on Facebook and WhatsApp from our new Haitian friends!