Monday, July 4, 2016

A Day at Colegio de la Inmaculada!

Our day began bright and early for the CE (Comparative Education) group. We were off to spend the day in the classrooms of Colegio de la Inmaculada, a private Catholic school in Lima. The other group spent the day at Universidad de PacĂ­fico before joining the CE group at the school.

At Colegio de la Inmaculada, I was placed in a kindergarten classroom which I was very excited for because kindergarten is one of my favorite grades! An awesome component of this school's curriculum that I noticed right away is that they begin teaching English to students in pre-school and continue throughout their education. The classroom I was in had a teacher who taught using English and another who taught using Spanish. The morning began as an English classroom with the afternoon having curriculum taught in Spanish. During the morning, I interacted with students by reading them a book, going through a phonics poem with them, and helping the teacher with class activities. During the afternoon, I got the chance to observe teacher/ student interactions. Through interacting with students and the teachers as well as through observing, I soon discovered that education in Peru is very community directed. I absolutely loved all of the class activities including singing, dancing, and games played together throughout the school day. One of my favorite activities they did was "the shoebox." The class has decorated a giant shoebox with all the students names on it. Each week a student's name is drawn and that student takes the shoebox home. They fill the shoebox with things meaningful to them, bring the shoebox back and present their "treasures" to the class. All the students were beaming with excitement to find out what was in the shoebox. This activity connects students together by having each student share a bit about them and their life away from school. I also noticed that the proper greeting is a hug, rather than a handshake often used in the US. Teachers would also hug and kiss each student before they left at the end of the day. I really liked the strong sense of community within this school, and wished the US had more of this in their education system. 

After spending the day at the school, the CE group met up with the other group and got a tour of the campus of Colegio de la Inmaculada, including a bus ride to the top of a mountain that left us with an amazing overlook of Lima. The school, which consists of primary as well as secondary education, is a beautiful (and huge) campus, although the best surprise was this school's own zoo! Yes, a school with their own zoo! Their zoo consisted of deer, emu, llamas, Pumas, jaguars, native South American bears, and birds (and that wasn't all the animals). The zoo started as a place for unwanted exotic animals to go, and has hopes to find homes for these animals in the wild one day. What a wonderful way to end a fulfilled day at Colegio de la Inmaculada! 

After a quick rest at the hotel, our group headed to dinner at Madam Tusan, a restaurant known for their "Chifa". Chifa is a type of Chinese food that blends with Peruvian and African flavors. It was delicious! After a full day (and a full belly) it was time to get some rest for another day at Colegio de la Inmaculada tomorrow! 

~Taylor Hanna

Ms. Kayla Hall with the students in her class

Making good friends with these welcoming teachers at CI

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