Sunday, November 15, 2009

Part 2: Business Spanish...

"...We had to act out the four different teaching styles in Spanish the first day (Erik and I actually did the best out of everyone, but we failed that exercise as a class pretty hard). The second day began with an 80 question oral quiz to determine what learning style we had (I’m Teórico Reflexivo, Erik is the complete opposite. This was so not-surprising it was funny). On Wednesday Erik and I had to teach a 1.5 hour exercise about business organization to a class of college students. On Friday we had to analyze a small factory and recommend efficiency upgrades. My plan beat Erik’s by a country mile (this is a sore subject with him; if he brings it up simply ask him why he created such terrible indoor plumbing problems). We were expected to give full feedback after every exercise (retroalimentación, one of my new favorite Spanish words). In short, the amount of Spanish the class demanded was challenging and tiring. I know a lot more Spanish now.

But was the class worth it? I certainly think so (did I mention my diploma?). But it brings some tangible benefits to our microfinance program. Erik and I have the basic outline to teach a 40 hour course. We are currently working on preparing a complete manual (in both English and Spanish) so PDs in the future who want to offer small business courses do not have to go through the same certification. Being able to offer the class by ourselves allows us to teach at a more accessible schedule for the community; perhaps every Saturday for two months rather than every “morning” for two weeks (which is hard to do if you are employed). Personally, my Spanish is better and I am more confident using it. If I can bumble through teaching a class to college kids I can totally bumble through a conversation with some parents at the library. Also, more trivial tasks seem less menacing to me now. To put it simply, we have the skills and information to teach an entire class that was not possible to teach before.

And our journey still isn’t done. Erik and I now have what I am referring to as “Continuing Education.” At the end of the course, one of the things our instructors stressed was getting more practice with the teaching techniques, more practice leading the class, and more projects to try. We have already been to one class and will hopefully go to one a week until at least Snowflake break.

And that’s the haps with team Microfinance.



Song of the Blog: “Jefe” by Daddy Yankee"

Thanks Chet for filling us in! Stay tuned for a more eh, regular blogging session this week (we promise, especially since we're all heading to various countries next week for dia de gracias... more on that later...)


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