FDOC From 3307 Miles Away

Wednesday, January 11th

FDOC - or the first day of classes - has a whole new meaning in Trujillo, Peru. Instead of student, I was Profe working with groups of students ranging from two to eleven years old.

As a part of our instruction, we check to ensure that the students come to class with clean hands, faces and feet. Cleanliness is a pillar of Hands on Peru - HOP - an organization that instills healthy habits in the classroom so that students can empower friends and family with their knowledge and practice back home.

As the Profe, I found myself in a different role than ever before. The beginning of classes were met with shyness and apprehensive students, but I found that the students adapted and were ready to explore, participate and learn within minutes.

For one of the groups of students, I began with colors and seasons, switching between Spanish and English. For the older groups of students, I focused on pronunciation and introductions. As a new instructor, I quickly realized that students operated and learned at different levels and capacities. I had to quickly adjust my teaching practice to account for varying degrees of knowledge and understanding. I found this adjustment to be difficult, but I recognize that this is something that educators all over the world face and experience, and it was a true introduction to the power of teaching and the knowledge required of educators.

My first days in the classroom were humbling and empowering. I hope that throughout this journey I can support the students and school to develop their English-language skills and the community’s public health knowledge.