Today Melinda and I (Jenny) were El Lider Del Dia, which translates to the leader of the day or in this case, the leaders of the day. We explored life as a Nica student for a day, as we were able to shadow public high schools in Leon and sit in on Nicaraguan curriculum. The group was split into two groups and went to separate high schools. While sitting in the classrooms, we learned how different American high schools were compared to Nicaraguan high schools. What struck us the most was the flexible environment, which was exemplified by the teachers’ method of conducting a class and would ultimately reflect on the students’ behavior. For example, if the teacher was very relaxed, the students were allowed to communicate with one another during class. If the teacher made the students quiet down and was a bit stricter with the classroom environment, it seems that the students would be more attentive. Another thing that struck us was that the Nica students stayed in their classrooms while the teachers rotated around, because back in the states, the students were the one who roamed around while the teachers had their own permanent location.
After we were done shadowing, we gathered as a group to share our experiences. It was said that some teachers showed up later than usual and that’s a Nicaraguan norm, so it’s accepted to show up late, or that the teacher finished teaching early and they just left the students to their own expense. What we were most proud of our peers and of us were that we were able to get through our jam-packed day, with little breaks between here and there, and that we learned how the educational system of Nicaragua operated.
The most inspiring person that I (Jenny) met was the principal of JFK High School. I was partnered with Rubin and during the class period of Spanish, the principal came in and lectured the students about behavior. He told them that they could do so much better and said almost everything about 3 times, I guessed that it was for emphasis and so it could be embedded into their minds. – Being El Lider Del Dia was a fun experience and I(Jenny) felt that the idea of being the ELDD was much more scarier but when I actually led my peers, I thought that it was an invigorating experience, which helped me grow as a person. What I learned about myself was that sincerity and being appreciative of the people around you goes a long way.