Tina in Ecuador: First Day of Volunteering

October 28, 2019

I have so much to share! Today was so interesting, and fun, and eye-opening, and so many things all at once. 

We are helping the English teachers at a primary school on Isla Isabela. School in the Galapagos starts at 7am. On Mondays they begin the week with a schoolwide assembly outside, where they sing the Ecuadorian National Anthem, then the Isabela anthem, and then they discuss the news of the day. I think it is really good that they keep the students informed of local and national news; it is a good way to get children involved in current events. I think U.S. schools should do something similar. 

After that we shadowed two of the English teachers. At our school, students are 1st to 7th grade. They have four English teachers that rotate from classroom to classroom. Each class period is 35 minutes long. The first day I worked with Leandro; he teaches 6th and 7th grade English, so we had two periods - 70 minutes - of English for each grade. We began each class by introducing me, then all of the students. Then the students could ask me questions in English, and then I asked them questions. Then in the 6th grade class, we played Simon Says in English. In 6th grade they were learning time and clocks - so things like 4 o’clock, half past, 5:45, etc. I had a big clock at the front of the room and would change the hands, giving the students the chance to shout out the time. It was really fun to be there. In my mind the lesson was a little outdated because the students were learning half past, quarter to - phrases like that, which I have not used myself in ages. My mom uses terms like “5 of,” and I always have to ask her what that means because I don’t know!

The 7th graders were learning do and don’t conjugation. We helped come up with questions like, “Do you like basketball?” “Does your mother sing?” and the kids had to answer and conjugate.

Michael and I are going to try to extend our volunteering to later in the day. At the moment we are only volunteering from 7am to 10, but we want to help out the full day.

Meet Tina!