I have been student teaching in Ecuador for 3 weeks and it has flown by! I have taught 3 lessons so far and they have went really well. I taught a lesson on following directions and two lessons in numeracy. I am learning a lot of spanish and I am fitting in a lot better. The bond between the students and I is getting stronger. They are coming up to me and asking me questions and also giving many hugs. It is a comforting feeling.
As for behavior management, the school is similar to other schools I have been in. There is a behavior management system that is used in the classroom I am in. There is a sun, rainbow, and black cloud. Every morning the students start on the sun. This is where they want to stay. If they misbehave or are not following the rules, they are told to put their name on the rainbow. If the student is on the rainbow and misbehaves again, they have to put their name on the black cloud. If they are on the black cloud, they lose 2 minutes of golden time. Golden time is 45 minutes of free time on friday afternoon. For example, if they are on the black cloud 3 times that week, the student loses 6 minutes of golden time. For what I have seen, this has been an effective method.
School policies were also similar. The students have to be in class on time, turn in their work in on time, and follow the rules. The students have a uniform policy. For secondary students, on Mondays they have to wear their formal uniform and the other days they can wear the other uniform. The primary students do not have a formal uniform. They just have to wear the school uniform. Another school policy is that all students have to wear a hat outside everyday. Since the sun is so strong, hats are mandatory! There are also boundaries on the playground that the students have to abide by. There aren’t any extreme punishments. Many times the students are just reprimanded. Also, there are no office referrals. Each teacher has their own rules and punishments for the students. The secondary students get detentions but they are only allowed during the school day (during breaks, lunch).
I am getting observed Tuesday which is exciting! It is always good to get feedback to help improve my teaching. There are also parent-teacher conferences tomorrow. Each student receives a target goal which is discussed at the conference. This will be an interesting experience. I am loving my placement and traveling around Ecuador has been beautiful. Ecuador has opened my eyes to many new experiences and cultures.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” -Maya Angelou