IAPE Participants are Hard at Work: A Message from IAPE Director Jim Citron
The forty English teachers from Mexico's public schools and public universities who participated in the 2008 Summer program of the Inter-American Partnership for Education (IAPE) have all returned to Mexico and are putting their new skills into practice in classrooms throughout the country.
The preliminary findings of the program's impact from the external evaluation firm Aseguramiento de la Calidad en la Educación y en el Trabajo (ACET) address the program's successes to date. Some include the introduction of Rassias® teaching techniques in elementary, secondary, and university classrooms throughout the country; a renewed focus on student learning; and teachers' increased pride in their profession.
Raul Gonzalez Cruz implements language teaching techniques he acquired during the 2008 IAPE program at Dartmouth College.
It is one thing to read the report. It is quite another, however, to see this impact first-hand. This past week, I had the honor of observing two of Raúl Gonzalez Cruz's classes at Escuela Secundaria Técnica No. 64 in Mexico City. On a typical day, Raúl teaches English to eight groups of 13- and 14-year old students. The size of his classes ranges from forty to forty-five. As I watched this gifted teacher skillfully engage his students in their own learning through a steady stream of interactive teaching techniques that he had acquired during this summer's program, the full impact of this program began to hit me. His students participated enthusiastically in the lesson and communicated thoughts in English in ways that few at this school had imagined possible just a few months ago. I also met with Raúl's principal who beamed with pride over the accomplishments of "el maestro Raúl" whose work is opening opportunities for the 420 students he teaches each week.
Knowing that similar scenes are playing out in classrooms thoughout the country is truly inspiring. Raúl is one of 24 program participants with whom Helene Rassias-Miles and I were able to meet in Mexico in October. All of these dedicated educators are fulfilling the program's mission with a spirit and a passion of which we can all be proud.