A Day at the New Hope School: T2T-I Team

Written by Lucía Dávila, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Collaboration and
keeping an open mind are some of the goals our team members have. They are
ready to listen with their hearts and to give it their all.

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The trip started with
a tour around Guatemala City. The group visited some of the most important and
historical places, including the 17th-century chapel Cerrito del
Carmen, the National Palace, the archeological park Kaminal Juyú, and the
shopping area Cayalá.

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The next day began with a group orientation that
provided the team members with the necessary information for the rest of the
trip.

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After an hour and a
half drive, we arrived at New Hope Community in Chinautla, Guatemala. The team
stayed in the guesthouse for the entire week. It includes several bedrooms, 4
washrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room, and an amazing terrace with
spectacular views of the surrounding hills.

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The team had one day to settle
in, tour the school, and explore part of the nearby community. We all sought an
early bedtime because the next day was show time!

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The team needed to be at the
school at 7:00 a.m. to greet all the kids. After the morning announcements,
each team member and his/her interpreter went to their corresponding classroom
with their paired local teacher.

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The plan for the week followed
the same framework used in other T2T-I trips:

– First day we observe.
– Second day we lead the class or
co-teach.
– Third day we co-teach in a
supporting role or let the local teacher lead the lesson.
– The fourth day is for the local
teacher to lead the lesson and to answer any remaining questions.
– The fifth day is for celebrating
the success of previous days and plan for continuity.

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Once the students left at 12:30,
the team ate a delicious, home-cooked lunch with the local teachers all
together in the teachers’ room. Next, we got ready for our workshops. Some
examples of the successful workshops we had this year were those led by Karen
Rothschild, Carlos Leiva, and Amy Withers.

Karen and Carlos provided the group with several activities and math problems that promoted a sense of community: 

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Amy brought a math problem which she used with her students in New York.
She let the teachers solve the same problem, only this time changing it to a
Guatemalan context. At the end of the activity, we were able to analyze a new problem-solving
strategy and compare it to the work students did in New York. Amy asked for
feedback so that she could take this experience and apply it back home.

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After the workshops, we held one-on-one
meetings focused on (1) how the local partner teacher and his/her students
experienced the day’s lesson and (2) what elements of it should be integrated
into the classroom.

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At the end of the day, we
celebrated with a delicious traditional Guatemalan meal and a brief team
meeting to share stories of our most extraordinary experiences.

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