Interview craftspeople, farmers, and entrepreneurs in Otavalo, Ecuador, to develop a case study documenting the stages of production of various goods and create a non-fiction book and museum-in-a-box that enlivens economics and models primary source research.
I am much more knowledgeable about our economics standards and how to apply them to the "real world". Specifically regarding the process of creating an product, all the way to the sales of that product. My spanish language skills are much more proficient and I am more confidently able to communicate with my students and others in spanish, especially about the topics related to Economics.
I will be teaching a new Case Study this year about Economics and Ecuador. Though my students will not be able to spend time in Ecuador, like my team did, they will be able to learn about and experience the culture and economics of Ecuador in a way that will the best next thing. They will view interviews in spanish, and english. They will touch and learn about the different crafts that are made. They will be able to fully understand how those crafts are created and why it matters.
I was taking spanish classes every day. I am now back with a renewed vigor to practice and maintain my spanish language skills. I was really proud of all of the learning that happened in class every day, but more importantly I was proud of how many times I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to practice and speak a foreign language. Every night at dinner was spent conversing about all subjects in spanish. This is something I haven't done in a long time and I'm a better speaker because of it.
Students will learn about a new culture. My hope is that they will make connections with the people of Otavalo, even though it's a city thousands of miles away. I hope they can understand both the similarities they have with Otavaleño children, as well as the differences. I also hope it inspires them to create their own crafts and use economics to better their own lives.
Already we have presented about what we learned in front of all of our colleagues. They were excited to learn about a different culture. In a few weeks we will be presenting in front of our Board of Education to share with them the details of this experience. We have a new colleague on our team this year and we've already shared with her our learning so that she can teach her kids.
My vision is that in the Spring we will have an Otavaleño Mercado. Students will create crafts that they have learned about like jewelry, instruments and artwork. They will use natural resources, to honor and respect the native cultures. They will speak in spanish when they sell and buy their crafts, practicing with greeting and numbers.
I hope that my students will leave with a deeper appreciation for native cultures and the unique issues that affect them, not just in the United States, but all over the world. They have already learned about native cultures here in the USA, but as they learn about Ecuadorian native cultures, I hope they will make connections that can reinforce the importance of honoring and respecting these culture and traditions.
I have been changed in so many ways. The content knowledge I have acquired is real and accurate. I am not able to easily explain the economics vocabulary terms that in the past I have used only abstractly. My spanish language skills have improved substantially as well, allowing me to communicate with my students more fluently and confidently.