For today’s adventures in the Dominican Republic, we got the chance to explore and gain knowledge about how the school systems are run here as opposed to the United States. After a very early wakeup call at 6:30 AM and breakfast, we had an academic seminar in which we discussed the difference in quality of education for different types of groups. For example, we looked at the difference in quality of education for different races, developed vs. developing countries, and different social classes.
After gaining some knowledge about education around the world, we had the opportunity to visit and take a tour around the UASD, the Universidad Autómica de Santo Domingo, which is a beautiful university where people can get the education they need to pursue a career. In the university, we had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Cristino Comas, a former professor and now supervisor for the schools around the Dominican Republic, who spoke to us about his successes and failures in trying to change the way the schools are run. Wanting to pursue a career in education myself, Comas was a great inspiration because he rebelled against the system for the benefit of not only the students, but the whole country as well. After half the day learning about the education system in the DR, the group got their first chance to teach some people the English language. As you may or may not know, English tutoring is a program component of Global Glimpse. And for the first time in the program’s history, we had about 300 people sign up for English tutoring! We were not expecting everyone to come on the first day, but we had over 200 arrive! It was quite hectic getting everyone signed up, registered, and paid. We might even make the local news.
My teammate, Jennyfer, and I were chosen to teach the Basic English level ages 12-15 and it was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever. Seeing how happy the students were after they said a word or a letter correctly was truly heart-filling and gave me even more of a reason for wanting to teach. We will be teaching English 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Being El Lider del Dia was honestly hard and frustrating at times because things show up that you personally cannot control, but overall it was a great learning experience that could potentially help improve my skills in the future. One thing I learned about myself as El Lider del Dia is that although I was “in charge” for the day, I need to find the balance between being responsible and enjoying it as much as I can in the process. Some advice for any approaching Lider del Dia is mainly to be patient and time efficient. Although the field trips and meeting the speakers have been great, we have been experiencing some issues with the water running out while people are in the shower, but that just gives us the full out of the house experience.