Sunday, December 16, 2007
Chile's "English Opens Doors" Program
I'm always happy to see the different paths that my former students take towards success. I think that many of our students would love to do what Jason Flynn has done after graduation.
Jason took my "Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Language, Cultures & Communities" course the very first semester I offered it. (I co-taught it with Darcy Lear that first semester.) Jason worked with the Boy Scouts in Shadowwood, and I remember the unique sense of humor that he brought to all his work in the class.
So I wasn't surprised when I heard from him and learned that he is doing something that really utilizes all his strengths: teaching English to children in Chile. The pictures he sent showed that he still has his sense of humor. And the letter that he wrote showed that he needed it in order to really connect with the students! I also saw that he had indeed connected with them. Here is some specific information from Jason:
"im stationed in calama, a city in the north of chile. its in the middle of the driest desert in the world and, ill be honest and say that its not the most beautiful place in the world... ive been living with a host 'family' as well, though its actually just myself and a 60-year-old woman. ... [if] any of your students are interested in doing this after graduating, they can find out more at www.mineduc.cl and look around for the 'english opens doors' program. it is run through the chilean government, specifically the ministry of education [mineduc]."
He sent pictures of student projects. (Nunchucks?! Dynamite?! What are you teaching them, Jason?) And links to the play that Jason wrote and the students performed. Hint: they're playing penguins. I think. Part 1. Part 2.
I asked Jason about his community service learning work with the Boy Scouts in Shadowwood.
Ann: ¿Te acuerdas cuando estabas trabajando con los niños Scouts? ¿Jamas pensaste que ibas a estar trabajando con niños chilenos? :)
Jason: i do remember working with the scouts in shadowwood, but if you had told me i would be volunteering in chile the next year, i would have questioned your BAC.
(What does "BAC" mean, Jason?)
But he did just that.
So have a great Christmas in Santiago, Jason. And students, if you want to talk to Jason about his experiences, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass along his contact info.
Here are a few more photos.
A street in Calama. Jason enjoying the food. A student dance. (I have to be careful not show the students' faces. But they are adorable!)
While they are doing community service learning, many students never imagine how it could impact their futures. Jason's experience, instead, aligns perfectly with the path he has chosen for himself. So far.