As a new offshoot of the Community Outreach program, the Education program aims to focus on building our relationship with the San Miguel community through shared knowledge and a commitment to progress through education. Currently, the Education program maintains a presence in the local school by conducting regular ESL classes, while offering an adult ESL program in La Mesa. As director, I hope to achieve company goals of expanding the domains of this program to include a wider variety and definition of “education” in events and classes.
- To maintain continuity in the ESL program: build on students’ prior knowledge by planning a longer-term schedule for classes
- To provide avenues for feedback from students on program’s structure/quality
- To expand the definition of the Education program beyond ESL classes
- Involve as many other Kalu Yala members as possible in working to make the Education program more “multidisciplinary”
- To avoid an “us” and “them” paradigm of education: make it clear that we, as an organization, value many types of education (intellectual, technical, cultural, creative)
- Facilitate bringing in third-party expertise to San Miguel
- Establish platforms for individuals within San Miguel to share their knowledge with fellow community members
- Be flexible: recognize that education is a process & that plans will need to be modified to be effective
- Be patient while working with students
- Involve outside help: with few spring interns in San Miguel, we will need to be creative to keep the ESL/Education program fresh! Communicating with other program directors and interns regularly will be crucial
- Research: use print & media sources liberally for program ideals
- Establish measurable goals: How can we best track progress of the program?/How can be more comprehensive & analytical in making sure we are meeting the needs of the community?
- Utilize spaces beyond the classroom: engage more students by regularly taking activities to La Cancha, other common outdoor spaces
- Remember that we are always ambassadors for Kalu Yala: by living in San Miguel, we are a part of the community and our behavior reflects upon the company at all times.
List of Education Projects
- ESL program
- Intern projects
- Partner School program
- Community Education Events
- Workshops with other KY programs
- General Casa Yala Projects & Goals
- Where are we currently with the ESL program?
- Create a system for tracking progress in classrooms
- Try to incorporate lessons in other subjects into ESL classes to familiarize students
- Teach relevant vocabulary
- Collaborate with other teachers
- Show English language movies (with subtitles), e.g. Disney movies – use more multimedia sources with projector & laptop!
- Esteban Gast (co Biz/Ed intern)’s project: sociological look at education in Panama & relative significance of areas of study
- Set up interviews with school administrators
- Focus groups with students?
- Meet with Esteban to discuss project
- Any other interns interested in working in schools?
- Community Outreach interns?
Partner School Program
- Establish partner school program for cultural and language exchange
- Talk to my parents, who both work in elementary education in Massachusetts, about this
- Any other interns have connections to elementary schools who would like to get involved?
- Pen Pal project?
- Look into the feasibility of this idea regarding the post…
- Video blogs with classrooms in US
- Use my video camera to film student introductions & questions; create a schedule for this project
- Talk to Media coordinator at local schools in Boston
Community Education Events
- Weekly or bi-weekly community workshop series
- What individuals in San Miguel have skills that would benefit their community? Talk to these people & ask whether they would like to share their knowledge to a small audience
- Consider asking individuals from surrounding towns, too
- What are the barriers to students who want to pursue higher education?
- Are there representatives from universities in Panama City who would be willing to come speak in the town about planning for a future in education?
- I want to make sure I’m not being culturally insensitive, so this idea may not be appropriate
Workshops with Other Kalu Yala Programs
- Agriculture project
- Work with Alex & Ag interns; his idea is on local crops & health benefits
- Also, expand to an afterschool agriculture workshop? Maybe gauge interest with a class, then expand to a regular workshop if possible
- Invite interns & directors from other programs to come up with a one-day lesson/event to present to students/community at large.
- Work with anyone who wants to get involved to make it happen
- Work with Kelly & Community Outreach interns to provide support, avoid redundancy, etc.
- Weekly meetings with progress updates? Put some mechanism in place for updating each other
General Casa Llena Projects & Goals (in progress…)
- See Kelly’s list in CO Goals document
- I will be adding to this list when I get to San Miguel!