Today featured all things about teaching. We started the day early at Campus D of the ENSB (Escuela Normal Superior of Bucaramanga) to observe a pedagogical (didactic) class preparing future teachers in action. Although my partner teacher, Danielle, had experienced similar teacher training in her certification program, it was a new experience for me. The teacher Martha modeled her lesson as designed for students (which had the additional bonus of furthering English language acquisition for her class) before engaging in reflection and evaluation of the pedagogical strategies used. I only wish that my teaching certification program had included similar training to better prepare me for the classroom! As always, we received a warm welcome from the staff of the school during a meeting. Martha treated us to enormous egg-stuffed arepas (amazing!) and German broke out his homemade spiced coconut clusters (delicious!). Back at the main campus of ENSB, our host teacher Diana provided a brief tour of the music classroom and the auditorium where we'll share our American culture presentation with the student body on Monday. We also had an opportunity to do some initial planning for a share literature unit with her colleague Claudia.
The students we met yesterday proved eager and willing to try their first lesson with two American teachers in the afternoon. Danielle and I used every support strategy that two second-language teachers can throw at students to explore and reflect upon symbolism in a cooperative learning environment. Students jumped into the lesson which eventually led to the challenge of communicating with students in our Coloradan and Wisconsin classrooms. It was clear that the postcards and letters from our respective students fired their imagination and enthusiasm. We hope to pick up stacks of letters and postcards to bring back to the U.S. by the end of the week.