Teaching High School
Since arriving in Jarabacoa in July of 2016, I've been teaching English to students in grades 9 through 12 at Doulos Discovery School. I've seen 99 students graduate (including the 20 from last year in the picture above), and I started this year teaching the next batch of 14 graduands, plus 53 other students who will graduate in the coming years. Connections with students are always a highlight in this career, as are helping them make connections with their learning.
That said, these years have taken a toll on me and this past January I put in a formal request to change positions at Doulos. I'm not convinced that it's time to leave the school, but it's time for a break, to step back from what I've been doing, reassess, and regroup. This summer, a new teacher was found to teach high school and September 22 was my last official day in my high school classroom.
About two years ago, after 10 years of teaching, it seemed to me a good idea to further my learning. There were a few factors promoting this decision:
1. one of the hiring incentives at Doulos was an agreement to pay for a master's program in exchange for a certain time commitment at the school;
2. in all my 10 years of teaching, I have been nearly always in a language classroom (sometimes French, Spanish for a short while, and lately English for second/other language learners), and I found myself wanting to understand more about how we learn and use language;
3. finally, I found the ideal program for my interests and needs at this time in an online master's through UBC.
I applied in January 2022, and I've completed just over one year of two and half for a Masters in Education in Modern Languages; I'm set to finish at the end of 2024. I'm enjoying learning not only about how we acquire languages and how we best teach and assess learning, but also how languages are implicated in cross-cultural work. As my work at Doulos shifts this year, I'm looking forward to putting my learning into practice in my own classroom as well as possibly in professional development for my colleagues.
If you follow Doulos Discovery School on any of its social media, you have probably seen that we're amping up for a fundraiser in the first week of November. In case you haven't seen that, let me sum up: We need to move from our current campus (it's not for sale and too small anyway for our growing school). We have a donor who will provide half of the million dollars we need to buy our new property, BUT we as a school need to raise the other half by the end of December. If you're interested in finding out more, you can check out this page on our school website, or send me a quick email and I'll hook you up with more information.
Praise & Prayer Requests
As you might imagine with these changes, things have been a little turbulent in the last couple of months. I would appreciate your support in praising God:
- for the opportunity to step back from the work I've been doing and have a change, if not a rest.
- for the community he's placed around me, both at Doulos and in Jarabacoa.
Please also pray:
- that my new work would be a blessing to our staff and bring glory to God.
- for God's guidance and presence in this new season as I learn to lean on him in new ways or at least in new(ish) circumstances.
- for God's provision of the funds we need for our new school campus.