This is my last week teaching in Quito, Ecuador. I can not believe how fast these past 3 months have flown by. It seems like I was just packing and getting ready to come to Ecuador.
In a matter of 3 months, I have changed so much as a person and educator. I can not even start to explain how it has changed my life and made me a better person as a whole.
My communication skills have greatly improved. I have learned a lot more Spanish. I can teach students in which English is their second language. I have survived (and loved) teaching 20 5-year-olds for 10 weeks. I have learned a whole new curriculum. I am more open minded to new cultures and languages. I have experienced what it is to teach in a private International school. These are only a broad few things.
My students have taught me more then I could ever imagine! They have been amazing and each student has made me a better person and teacher. They have challenged me, taught me, and showed me how rewarding it is to be a teacher. The language barrier was definitely a challenge at the beginning but the students have been so helpful and willing to learn. The bond between the students and I have been amazing. Each student comes from a different background and culture and we all came together as one class. The students are very willing to help each other in any way that they can.
My biggest lesson I have learned here is how challenging it is coming from a different culture and language. I now understand how it is to come into a different culture and knowing a different language. It can be scary, uneasy, and challenging. I can relate to the students coming from another country that do not know the culture and language. I will do as much as I can to accommodate to those students to make them feel welcome and wanted.
The staff has been great! They have been so welcoming and helpful. I don’t think my experience would be as great if I didn’t have these teachers. Since day one, they have been willing to help me out in any way, ask how I am doing, and make the school day more fun. It is also great how good of a bond the teachers have. They do activities together in and out of school which makes the relationships even stronger. The teachers come from all over the world and are all very good friends.
During the week, I have an amazing time teaching the students. On the weekends, I travel and do activities with the teachers. I am always on the go and have seen amazing things. A couple of things I have done: climbing Cotopaxi volcano, Otavalo Market, Quilotoa crater, Middle of the World, eat guinea pig, Teleferiqo to Pichincha, Puluhua, and the jungle. Ecuador is absolutely gorgeous and there is so much to do.
I will greatly miss Ecuador and the experience I have had. I can not wait to start my teaching career and travel more. I want to experience different cultures and open my mind to new experiences. I suggest to anyone that wants to travel, especially to a country that doesn’t speak English, to do it! It can be challenging but is absolutely amazing. This is a great ending to my college career! Thank you for all of the support and help so I could have this once in a lifetime experience!