The Joy of Mathematics

Workshops in Common Hope, Antigua, Guatemala

Written by Lucía Dávila, Guatemala City, Guatemala

We started our day by introducing the interpreters to their corresponding speakers. Our beautiful and brilliant interpreters were volunteers from the state university of Guatemala, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, and they were ready to give their best.

 

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Registration time started at 8:00 am, and the local teachers were able to choose four workshops from the nine given options. They registered for the ones that better satisfied their needs according to their grades and subjects.

 

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Meanwhile, the speakers got ready in their conference rooms without losing any time.

 

The opening remarks began at 9:00, followed by introduction of the sponsoring organizations: Starfish Foundation, Niños de Guatemala, Common Hope, FUNSEPA, the State Director from the Ministry of Education, and Teachers2Teachers-International.

 

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After the introductions, past president of NCTM Linda Gojak delivered a keynote speech with professor emeritus Rick Scott as her English/Spanish interpreter. She discussed different approaches to teaching and learning. Then, several activities reinforced the importance of students’ engagement in math
education, among other essential themes.

Click here to learn more about the workshop Linda guided and the
activities the teachers performed in it.

 

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After the keynote activities, we took a break to enjoy a delicious and traditional Guatemalan snack of chuchitos (made with corn flour, tomato sauce, and your favorite meat: chicken, turkey
or pork), champurradas (large, flat, sweet cookies), and coffee. During this time, the local teachers were able to share at a personal level with the T2T-I speakers. It was nice to see the formation of professional relationships including elements of friendship.

 

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The first workshops started at 12:30, and everyone could feel the excitement and expectations of the local teachers. In a matter of seconds, the conference rooms began to fill up, and the speakers launched into their workshops.

 

Click here to learn more about the workshops and activities.

 

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Lunch came around next, and by that time our speakers and the local teachers were no longer strangers. Everyone enjoyed an amazing homemade meal with traditional deserts and beverages, while sharing their thoughts about the first workshops.

 

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The second set of workshops was more relaxed, as participants
were familiar with the dynamics. Teachers shared, laughed, and enjoyed each
other, while becoming involved in the activities and bringing their knowledge
and experience to the table.

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Last but not least, after two days of collaboration and hard work, we had our closing ceremony, where we distributed participation certificates. The entire group of teachers posed with their certificates for a
photograph of the special moment.

 

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Finally, before departing, the administrators of the different schools organized a spontaneous meeting to solicit opinions from teachers. They were interested in hearing how they could support their teachers
in employing the new strategies. An additional meeting was scheduled for all the administrators to follow up with each other in December. This showed us the kind of commitment the directors and administrators have towards their schools and teachers, and it was fantastic!

 

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