A Day at the New Hope School: Students

Written by Lucía Dávila, Guatemala City, Guatemala

School begins promptly at 7:30,
when the children gather together at the gym. There, the entire school
community prays, shares announcements, and celebrates those with birthdays by
singing Happy Birthday (or Feliz Cumpleaños)
in unison.

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When each grade settles into its classroom,
the school routine begins with age-specific activities.

In pre-school, the children start their day by singing.
After a song or two, the teacher goes through the attendance list. Next is more
singing, but this time some dancing is incorporated. They finish their morning
with some reading time by sitting next to each other and listening carefully to
their teacher while she reads and shows the illustrations of a book. 

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A different morning routine can
be found in the primary grades. These students start their day by forming a
circle and sharing experiences about their daily life with the teacher. This creates
an important bond between students and their teacher. The morning continues
with a 20- to 25-minute reading time.

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The rest of the day’s schedule varies
from grade to grade, and each teacher keeps a different agenda. Recess, for
example, is an organized time divided by grades and areas.

Grades:

  • 9:30 – 10:00: Kindergarten (4 years old), 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade
  • 10:00 – 10:30: Párvulos (5 years old), 4th, 5th, 6th grade
  • 10:30 – 11:00: Preparatoria (6 years old)

The students play in different areas depending on the
day and planned schedule. Their choices are the following:

  • Playground
  • Basketball
    court
  • Green area
  • In the hallway in
    front of the kitchen area

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The students in New Hope not only
receive a high quality education, but also the loving care of their teachers.
An example of that is Seño Vilma who greets her 6th grade students
one by one before entering the classroom. Also, the school has a fluorine day
every Tuesday to take care of their students’ teeth.

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At the end of the day, the
students clean their classrooms, get their chairs organized, and say good-bye
to their teachers. They depart with smiles on their faces and promises to
return tomorrow.

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