In May, Nicaragua Program Director Dave Schmid's family came for a visit. In this blog, Mrs. Mary Schmid shares an account of her experience in the community.
A big thank you to Mary, Dave and the entire Schmid family for all your help and support!
Our son David is in Nicaragua, and we decided to visit and see him at work. I myself am a teacher so I was quite interested in how they taught the different age groups their English classes. After a couple of days sight seeing, we arrived at Manna Project's after school English classes. Dave and Kayla were teaching future participles.
After the lesson they asked myself and other family members to go to different tables and work with the students. My table had a woman my age, in her fifties, named Lorena and two teenagers. We read together and then did different writing activities. I loved looking around the room and seeing my family from New Jersey smiling and assisting their Nicaraguan students. The students were only so happy to do their work and try to get the right answers.
While teaching in New Jersey, my class is all the same age. I do have some eager learners, but not as many different levels as Dave and Kayla were faced with. They were able to challenge the high achievers without frustrating the lower level English students. I was very impressed.
The joy in that room was felt by all. We enjoyed serving our far away neighbors, and they were very receptive students. We were happy to be a part of something so meaningful. After class, we were invited to come to dinner by Lorena, and my daughter was holding a baby that belonged to a parent of one of her students. In a matter of about an hour, we felt like we belonged, we were bonding from the outset.
Our family realized that age doesn't matter when learning. If one wants to learn and better themselves they are the best students to teach. They are happy to have the extra help, and attention compared to the student that has to go to school because it is the law. Manna Project has young men and women who are very willing to give of themselves, and students who work hard to please their teachers, and try to better themselves and their lives by learning English.
I was happy to return to the United States, but will miss the hospitality of the Nicaraguan people.