Mr. Samo in New YorkMay 30, 2018 9:16 pm
We asked Guest Blogger, Mr. Samo, to write about his experience on his recent trip to the United States. Mr. Samo is our Dean of Students and Head of the Office of Student Development at Joseph and Mary Schools. He and Ms. Deo were invited to Sarah Lawrence College to participate in a Teacher Empowerment program hosted by their Child Development Institute.
The purpose of my visit was to attend a Child Development Seminar with Sarah Lawrence College, have interviews with different school leaders in the Bronxville school, and observe different school programs in Bronxville, Yonkers, CDI, and Grand Central public schools.
I learned a lot of things during this trip. The use of technology to teach and store student information was amazing – the students’ information is up-to-date regarding their academics, behavior, parents’ information, residential, health, etc. Teachers are fully committed to the use of engaging methods where students do research, explore, write reports and present. Teachers are facilitators but students are part of learning process. I also liked how US schools value non – academic activities and they know that life skills are vital for the growing youths (physical education, clubs, games, art, music and others).
Great care is given to special needs and struggling students which reminded me how those similar students in Africa are not given such opportunities, but instead they are discriminated against with no plan to assist them at all. After school programs are meant to help struggling students, team training or teachers’ meetings which help the schools to accomplish their mission and goals easily.
I also noticed a lot of interesting things about the classroom settings. Classes are arranged, decorated, and all kinds of materials in each class are designed to meet students’ needs and intended to be part of learning process. They also use play in lower grades to help students learn instead of only teaching. Volunteering culture was another thing that caught my attention. I really liked how older students volunteer to assist lower grade students under the supervision of class teachers – an experience which is transformed from young people to adults because I saw the same volunteering spirit where people volunteered to do Hudson River clean – up which I also enjoyed participating in.
The most exciting part of my trip, to be honest, was my first time to board an airplane! On my way to U.S. I didn’t sleep the whole trip! I also loved visiting different parts of New York and above all, riding a roller coaster!!
I was surprised to see diverse communities in the U.S. totally different from the way the media is depicting the United States of America.
Things that I’d like to start at Mainsprings – J&M: –
- Technology – I’d really like our staff and students to be able to use the internet as a source of information for teaching, research and learning and also to start storing student and staff information electronically. This will help the organization to keep track of students and worker information easily.
- After School Programs – This program will help struggling students, our school teams to practice, teachers’ enrichment programs (use of technology and others) but above all, this program will be used to help students relax from academic stress by having fun games. The program will become a volunteering project for our students who would like to run the program as volunteers and interns.
- Volunteering culture – I’ll come up with a plan to make sure that our students and staff volunteer in different ways. We will have high school kids volunteer to help lower grades kids in different activities like reading buddies and playing games, but also educating the community about environmental cleaning and have specific dates set and put on our calendar for Lake Victoria clean – up (This can involve the Kitongo community).
Thanks to all who made trip to happen!
This post was written by Mainsprings