Meet Santiago- probably the cutest 5 year old in all of Mexico. He is an ILP(International Language Programs) student and has been learning English with ILP for 2 years. And, would you just check out those dance moves?
Shamara R. who is currently volunteering with ILP shared some cute pictures and thoughts about Santiago so you can get to know him better. He's just one of the cute kids you will have the opportunity to teach when you spend a semester abroad in Mexico!
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Shamara says "Santiago is so adorable. He always wants to help during activities. Santiago can also be very sassy at times. He likes to roll his eyes when you tell him to speak English and not Spanish." We totally agree with how adorable he is, just look at him!
As you teach with ILP you will learn a lot about your students and really get to know them and love them. You will quickly learn that they will teach you way more than you ever could have expected. Shamara says "Santiago has taught me the importance of friendship and love. He is always a friend to everyone, and when you catch him on his really good days, he can be a complete cuddle bug."
Teaching really is the greatest thing, but it can be difficult sometimes. Shamara shared that the biggest struggle teaching Santiago is when he sits near his friends. "... he has a hard time paying attention, and will often sit and talk to his friends in Spanish. I have learned though if I sit him next to me, and not by his friends, he will only speak in English and will pay attention and help with the entire activity." Don't worry, you'll figure out what works for each student and how you can help them best in lessons!
You will get to see your students grow throughout your time with them and Shamara has seen just that. She said " At the beginning of the year, Santiago was quite shy and didn’t speak much English. In only three months, he has completely came out of his shell and has improved significantly in speaking English." It is SO cool to see how your students gain confidence and you get little glimpses everyday about how you are really making a difference.
I asked Shamara what her favorite part of teaching is and it will make you want to get on a plane to Mexico right now to experience it for yourself. "My favorite part about teaching in general is honestly learning from the students. I learn just as much from them as they learn from me. They are all so willing to give and are full of so much love. You could be having the worst day and walk into the school and all the students run up to you yelling ‘teacher’ and smothering you with hugs and kisses and you can’t help but to just smile and love them."
A semester volunteering abroad in Mexico will change your life. Mexico is an amazing country with delicious food, kind people, beautiful things to see and countless things to do. Oh, and now you know you can find the cutest kids ever there!
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