March 15 .. Day 5

Buenos Noches! Im Kelly Hauprich and I’m bringing you a recap of Day 4 here in the Dominican. Our day started a little later than yesterday, which was nice. After a quick McDonald’s breakfast (sadly without the Dollar Menu…), our friend Pastor Hector picked us up around 8 a.m. and we set off for Sabana Perdida yet again. We were all a little nervous, knowing that we would be on our own in the classrooms without Mark, as he was giving a workshop to the teachers at the school today. What we were not prepared for was being bombarded with the entire student population of the school at one time.

Eek! All of them ... at the same time?

Our original plan was to take half the students in the morning while their teachers were with Mark, and have the other half in the afternoon, so that we could repeat our prepared lesson twice. While this sounded like a good idea, it just goes to show that teaching requires the utmost flexibility. All of the kids came into the cafeteria at one time-leaving the 7 of us “teachers” with 92 students… we were overwhelmed to say the least.

Melts your heart!

We had students ages 3-20 and it was a struggle to adapt the lessons to so many different levels at one time.

Getting ready to retell Peter Pan to the whole school.

Thankfully, after the morning recess we were able to straighten things out and had an easier time with classroom management for the remainder of the morning, but it was still a challenge to engage the students.

Playing a game.

The students are not academically proficient, but were enthusiastic about the activities we had planned none-the-less.

Drawing a dream!

We had a good time interacting with them and trying our hands at having our own classrooms.

Hangman when having a few moments.

We had another wonderful lunch prepared by the school staff (today it was pork with some yummy watermelon on the side) and all enjoyed a cup of coffee to help keep us awake through the afternoon. Come to find out, we wouldn’t really need it, as the classes we were supposed to have in our afternoon rotations never came.

Were we suppose to work today?

We ended up sitting and chatting and eventually a crowd of students gathered and showed us some Dominican dance moves.

Sunning without students.

We had fun swapping cultures with them and getting to know them on our last day at the school. After a sad goodbye, we piled back into the rental van and headed home.

Adios Sabana Perdida

Some of us returned to the Colonial Zone to do some more shopping, and the rest of us went back to the hotel to catch up on some much needed rest. No one ever claimed teaching was easy!
Tonight we had the awesome opportunity to meet the President of the National Association of the Deaf in Santo Domingo. Tomas Gomez came and had dinner with us in the hotel’s restaurant and shared with us his experiences as a Deaf person in the DR. We were lucky to get to ask him all our questions about what we have seen so far and he was happy to share his stories with us. We talked about services for the Deaf in the country and also the schools that are available to the students here. It is much different from the US, and really opened our eyes to a several issues that we won’t get to experience on this trip. Hopefully when the next group from McDaniel returns, they will be able to work more with this organization.

A very nice dinner with Senor Tommy Guzman.

After a long day of work, I think I can speak for all of us in saying we are all looking forward to our day at the beach tomorrow (and I think we’ve actually earned it). Adios for now!


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