• close family • small boat • big world •

Paula a la Escuela Gregorio Luperon

November 7, 2014

by Paula
At anchor, Luper
ón, Dominican Republic

Happy to be back in a classroom
Good afternoon, students! I didn’t expect to be saying those words again quite so soon. But I was lucky to be welcomed into the classroom at the Gregorio Luperón High School to teach English classes.

Luperón is such a wonderful place, and we feel a desire to give back in some way to the gracious people here. Profesora Milenia De La Rosa teaches English to young adults at the local high school (ages ranged from 15 to 30). She gladly accepted our offer and allowed us to take over instruction in her three classes. After the first week, we decided it would be better for just me to return to the school. The kids found it tough to effectively help the students without a firmer knowledge of Spanish, and they did not feel comfortable in the position of helping energetic kids who are eight or ten years their senior.

Paula talks with teacher
Milenia De La Rosa

The students were a bit disruptive at first, but very soon came to eagerly open their notebooks and diligently work on the exercises I wrote on the board. After the first two weeks, they started to call me “Teacher,” and many proudly asked me to check their completed work. It was a great feeling when one student said, “The class of Paula is fun!”

Like in most classrooms, there was a large disparity in ability, and some students were much more comfortable responding in English than others. I came to appreciate the great wealth of resources that I previously took for granted in US schools. Without access to a copy machine and paper I had to write exercises on the board, which the students copied into their notebooks. This slow process meant
we could accomplish significantly fewer practice problems than would have been the case with printed worksheets.

Except for the occasional class missed because of an all-school meeting or a malfunctioning outboard, I was able to teach at Gregorio Luperón School for over six weeks. I loved every moment in the classroom; it felt great to be back at the chalkboard (literally). I am so touched that the students from two classes gave me beautiful gifts to thank me for my efforts with them. I am the one who is thankful! What a fantastic gift it was to teach again, and with such wonderful Dominican students.

Caro Estudiantes Dominicanos,

¡Muchas Gracias!
¡Muchas Gracias!
Yo voy a tratar de escribir en español. No hablo español muy bien, pero me defiendo. Tengo mucha suerte porque puedo enseñar en sus clases. Los estudiantes dominicanos son muy simpaticos, y me gusta mucho ayudarles a aprender inglés. ¡Estuve asombrada cuando Milenia me dio los regalos! ¡Muchas, muchas gracias! Acabo de poner los bellos regalos en el barco. Voy a pensar en todos los estudiantes maravillosos cuando miro los regalos. Muchas gracias a Milenia porque ella me permirtió ensenar en sus clases.

Le deseo buena suerte con tu clase de inglés. En el futuro, cuando regresemos, espero visitar a los estudiantes de Luperón nuevamente.

Con mucho amor,
Paula Prosper