Emma Volpe is a teacher at Rocket ship United Academy. She was excited to hear about the Professional Development Fund back in 2015. She had worked for the public charter school for a few years before she heard about the Rocket ship Education Program. This is a program that allows teachers who have worked with Rocket ship Education for at least three years to get $1,000 for their professional development.
Emma knows that she did not want to use the funds to attend a series of lectures or conferences. She recently started teaching English to students who came from a Spanish-speaking family. She thought that this would be a good time for her to travel and become a student instead of a teacher.
Emma decided to start an immersion program in Antigua, Guatemala. She chose this location because it is where many of her students came from. She lived with a family in the area and became immersed in the culture.
It was a challenge for Emma. She was responsible for finding her own transportation. She also had to learn how to speak Spanish. Emma had not taken Spanish since she was a junior in high school, which was back in 2009.
Emma was afraid to start a new life in a new country without knowing how to speak their language. She realised that many families are uncomfortable with the thought of learning a new language. There is a lot more to learning a new language than learning words, grammar and synthax. It has an emotional component to it.
Emma’s first day of school started off with the orientation. She learned that she would not be able to eat fruit off of the street. She also had to take a Spanish placement test. She said that taking the test was her favourite part of her day. She ended up doing much better than expected. She was placed in a pre-intermediate class.
She really enjoyed the rest of her week. She spent her mornings and afternoons learning Spanish. After she got out of class, she explored Antigua. She also spent time with her host family in order to learn the language better. She said that it was an amazing experience. It was nice to get out of the classroom and be able to learn.
Emma was only in Antigua for a week, so it did not make a major difference in the way that she spoke Spanish. However, she is happy that she had this experience. She was able to get a better understanding of Hispanic culture.
There were several things about Emma’s experience in Antigua that stood out to her. She liked walking to school early so that she could do her homework. She also enjoyed sitting in the garden before class. She stated that life is a lot more than a work or job. You have to take the time to sit and relax.
Emma is grateful for the experience in Antigua because it allowed her to slow down. She is also grateful to Rocketship Education for giving her the opportunity to go to Antigua.