Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dear Followers of the ITE 2014 Blog:
Since last October when acceptance e-mails went out, we have been looking forward to this experience.  The 15 students that were selected worked to raise funds, registered for a three hour class, and started the preparation for the trip.  They learned about the culture, history, geography, customs, government, and schools in Belize.  We determined that our focus this year would be mathematics education.  Our partner schools in Belize sent us a list of topics, and our lesson plan preparation began.  The CEHD students worked hard to develop appropriate lessons and use of the new mathematics manipulatives that we would leave behind. The opportunities to embrace another culture, interact with their community, and teach side-by-side with seasoned teachers in challenging conditions are invaluable experiences that have changed us all. Without question, this experience has inspired us to be better teachers, better people.

First, we would like to thank the families and parents for entrusting your children/wives/girlfriends to us. We would also like to thank all of the students that participated. You are each very special and dear to us. We could not have been more proud of how you embraced this experience. You should be proud of the difference you made in each of the lives you touched.

To Dean Haselton and the College of Education and Human Development Faculty, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the International Teaching Experience in Belize. We are very proud of how each and every one of our students and leaders represented the University, not only through their knowledge and teaching skills, but also with the professionalism in how they conducted themselves throughout the trip.

A special thanks to Dr. Todd Brown, Julie Stout, and Kristin Harbour for providing leadership and support on this trip.  They were amazing in their ability to support the students and take care of the logistics for a large group traveling around the country.  The leadership team also gathered resources and supplied needed to teach the lessons.  A huge thanks to Dr. Karen Karp and Sarah Moore at ETA for providing much needed mathematics manipulatives and resources for the classrooms in which we worked.

The leadership, our remarkable students, and talent exhibited are something for us all to celebrate.

With gratitude,
Nina Beck and Margaret Pentecost

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