Showing posts from February, 2012

Ethics, Language, Math....In that order, will guarantee Sumak Kawsay.

Sumak Kawsay in Kitchwa means, "Beautiful Life", and I am convinced that if the young people, when they leave Katitawa School are able to Read, Write, Speak and Understand their mother language, have the basic understanding of math and the logic of numbers, and values built on a solid foundation of Ethical beliefs, they will be a success in whatever they do in the future. For this reason, in my classes. I have made this our goal.

Two of my class will graduate in June, and the other two will graduate the next year, and I find they are unprepared for the colegio, in Spanish and math. For them, it is not important why they have fallen through the cracks, but it is important to correct the problem before July and we are making progress.

If they can read well they will want to read more. If they read more they will learn more. The internet is more than games....Much of the worlds knowledge is at their fingertips....If they can read and have the desire to learn.

Wish them luck....…

What Are We Here For?

Here at Katitawa School we teach grades, kindergarten through seventh. When they leave here they go on to the Colegio which is like high school and they are there for five years.

Our main goal is to make sure the students are prepared for the colegio. For the past few years the volunteer teachers have taught classes in English, computers, art, music, poetry, chess, theater, sports and helped in math, science. Local teachers always teach Kitchwa and Spanish.

Some parents bring their children to Katitawa when they are two or three years old....Sometimes I suspect, because they think we are a good baby sitting service. Since many of the adults here in Salasaka do not read or write Spanish, the children often come without the basic knowledge that is common in larger cities where the parents are better educated.

Others bring them when they are five or six because they have trouble in another school because they are stuck at number 40 in a class of 40 or 50. Here we have small classes an…

Ths Six Pillars Of Character

Several years ago, we started a program that was intended to improve discipline and build character. It was well received by the kids and staff as it was our own code of conduct. Kids could recite it by heart and were reminded when they did not live up to their promises. As with many good intentions it has somehow fallen into that pile of things that we used to do and then forgotten all together.

I believe that character does count, and should be the foundation of our school curriculum. While surfing the web to get some new ideas on the subject I came across the Josephson Institute's web site and found their Six Pillars of Character. We have adopted them, as our new code of conduct. They are reprinted them below:

Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country

Treat others with respect; follow the G…

Life Always Gives Us An Opportunity To Help Someone

This is a story of a young man of 14 years and his sister. His Name Is Danny and his sister’s name is Lizbeth. I first met these two when Danny was eight and his sister was six. They were two of my first students in the small English school we had started in downtown Salasaka.

Now six years later Lizbeth is in the colegio (Jr. High school), and still comes for English lessons three times a week in our library. Last week, Lizbeth came for a lesson and when we had finished, she sheepishly brought out three tickets that she was supposed to sell by Friday. The tickets were for a concert that was being sponsored by her school. I did not want to buy the tickets as the last thing I wanted to do on Saturday night was to sit in the cold for a couple of hours listening to music that was way out of my comfort zone. She pleaded as 12 year olds can do and to sweeten the pot she said she would bring me the biggest bag of capolis that I could imagine. I bought the tickets and gave them to …