GUATEMALA: Colegio Bilingue Mundo Infantil y (Mundo) Juventud Morales, Izabal,
*ONLY bilingual school in Morales, Izabal, Guatemala
A compilation of teacher experiences:
1. Most teachers stay for around 6 weeks
2. There is a catch as to why 1 teacher stayed for a long period of time(also illegal).
3. It’s really a business and the principal assures her friend’s children receive good grades.
4. The principal tries to bully you if you give certain students low grades.
5. If you’re from a smaller country like the UK or Canada(like most of their teachers) and think you’ll be in charge, you’re wrong.
6. Most of the students are connected to family in Los Angeles, California(and New York). So they’re not weak. (If you do not understand the previous sentence, you’re dead on arrival.)
7. It’s like teaching at an inner-city school in L.A., minus school shootings.
8. The students expect to be in charge of the foreign teacher.
9. The foreign teacher always gets, “The Devil’s Class.”
10. The teachers fear the families of some students will come to the school with a gun if you give to much non-violent discipline to a student(or take a student’s cell phone)
A few quotes:
1. Weekly tarantula visits(lol,seriously)
2. Weekly clogged kitchen sink
3. a little mold
4. floods, especially during the rainy season
5. The shower has visible electrical wires behind it on the wall. The second part of the shower head has a long rubber tube that water and an electrical current comes out of. Soon you’ll have electric showers.
6. The A.C. only works in the bedroom which isn’t the room with the remoteless TV.
7. Your apartment receives hot water from a house. On purpose the principal(host) has people(herself, maids,etc) turn off your hot water(as a threat or way to control you). Even worse and more dangerous, they turn the hot water ALL the way on so it SCOLDS(melted a pipe) you.
1. They will pay you.
2. There are a few good, disciplined students.
3. You only live 4 hours away from Guatemala City.(lol)
I know there are mistakes in the message. I’m an English teacher.
– Feel free to post this on any ESL forum. Especially in the UK, Canada, Australia, and U.S.
First off, this is just one person’s opinion of this school and I can say first-hand that most of it is hearsay and the rest of it is misunderstanding.
It takes a certain type of person to go and teach in a foreign country, far away from their family. It’s a tough job, living in a culture that you aren’t familiar with, eating food that doesn’t necessarily agree with you (or at least not right away normally) and being exposed to conditions that aren’t considered luxurious. However, if you enter into any sort of situation with a positive attitude you will see the good in all that happens and will reap benefits and rewards. A negative attitude is something that usually impedes your ability to enjoy life and you won’t be able to enjoy your experiences no matter what anybody around you does to try to help.
One thing about going to a new place is that there is definitely room for misunderstandings, especially when it’s a different culture and a different language. For instance, in Guatemala it is customary to greet people on the cheek when you see them and here in Canada that might be seen as strange. And when you don’t speak a language fluently, there is a lot of room for poor interpretations. Sometimes just by adding a different preposition behind a word you can change the meaning of the phrase completely.
Another certainty in life is gossip. Here at home you wouldn’t believe everything you hear so why would you go to another country and take everything anyone says to you as gospel? People will exaggerate in order to make an impression no matter what their background is.
During my extended stay in Guatemala I managed to have the time of my life! Following are just a few of the experiences I had.
-I joined a running club in the City and travelled to different places every other weekend to race, seeing the country and making new friends.
-I climbed a mountain twice weekly with locals who I befriended.
-I went on a weekend trip to Belize with friends.
-I cruised down the Rio Dulce on a private boat with the principal, her husband and all of the other teachers for two days.
-I went to the market two or three times weekly to practice my Spanish with the locals and to try new foods.
-I found a job teaching swimming lessons so that I could cool off in the afternoons.
-I spent many afternoons swinging in a hammock on my friend’s porch, drinking Gallo and making ceviche and caldo de gallina.
-I spent every lunch hour relishing delicious food prepared for me at my principal’s house and enjoying the company of her household.
-I travelled to Monterrico with my principal’s son and his friends to spend a weekend on the beach.
-I became involved with an American group called who do medical missions to different countries and volunteered my services as an interpreter.
-I had a private tutor twice a week to teach me Spanish and I sat in on a fifth grade Spanish class to hone my skills.
-I became fluent in Spanish after a short time despite not speaking a word of the language before arriving there, I now volunteer for Healing the Children as an interpreter.
-I brought my mother down for three weeks to visit and travel around. She was welcomed into the school and accompanied me to my class.
-I was invited to visit the homes of my students to get to know their families.
-I chatted with the parents after school when they came to pick up their students, thus becoming more familiar with their home lives.
-I went running every morning and sometimes watched the sun come up over the mountains.
-I played dodgeball and soccer with my students at recess.
-I judged the annual Spelling Bee, attended the Science Fair and participated in all of the festivals and carnivals that the school put on.
-I bought a scooter and used it to get around after dark (I prefer walking) and fixed it myself over at my mechanic friend’s house.
-And when I was in Guatemala last November on a medical mission, I spent three days visiting old friends after I finished working. I took them dozens and dozens of English books to enhance the children’s learning and stopped by at several of my students’ houses with small gifts from Canada.
I know there were many more things that I enjoyed during my stay but they’re just not at the forefront of my mind right now.
As for the living conditions, I only once (in two years!) came across a tarantula and it was in the school yard. The students ran to get me since they knew I had never seen one. There is no hot water in rural Guatemala because it is too expensive: instead there are shower heads that have heaters attached to them that you can manually turn on and off. The water that was turned off sometimes during the day was because if the pump was left running for too long it would overheat, a simple phone call would get it turned back on.
Many of the other allegations about the school are just untrue. I was the teacher who stayed for an extended period of time and returned after I completed my engineering degree to enjoy life a little and the only reason I went back was because I had such a beautiful experience. There were two other teachers who both stayed for an entire term and two more who left early because they had to return to classes at their universities. There were a few teachers who didn’t make it through the entire year but they had personal reasons and it didn’t have anything to do with the school.
If you have any questions about this particular school or just teaching English anywhere, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It sounds like a rant from someone who has never been out of their own country before. I’ve met a few people like that when I have travelled. Fellow Americans who think I will agree with their bad views. My only reply is that they should hurry home.
*** MOD EDIT ***
I have lived with the showers she mentions, they are laughingly called suicide showers, and although I would build them with wires that connect somewhere that the water doesn’t splash, having an electrician as a brother, I have never heard of anyone getting an electrical shock from one. And if one flicks the switch to off before turning off the water the water cannot melt a pipe.
I am applying to the school in hopes that I can break the spell and last for the entire school year.
Also sounds like someone who who didn’t read the posting rules either.
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