Tag Archives: 1st Year

Rolando Peralta: Entry 1

This is a guest post by Roland Peralta in our Counterpart Diaries Series:

October 20, 2015

Hello, My name is Rolando Peralta Rugama.


Dear Counterpart,

I want you to know that I am very thankful for all your help all this year. You have been of great aid to me both in improving my speaking and in teaching English in the classroom. I also feel very proud of being able to share with you all my experience as an English teacher.

Counterpart Diary: Essay one questions

  1. Who are you?

I am Rolando Peralta Rugama. I am an English teacher. I’m 44 years old. I live in Esteli city, and I work at Santa Cruz Institute. I’m co-teaching with a Peace Corps volunteer.

  1. Tell us about your family.

Continue reading Rolando Peralta: Entry 1


On Jack-o’-Lanterns and History: Cultural Exchange Chasing Away the Darkness

November 2015 Guidepost to Wholehearted Living
Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

–Max Ehrmann, from Desiderata (1924)

As Emily mentioned in her last post on chikungunya, we’ve had a bit of a rough spell these last two months.  We’ve had some great successes and high moments (among them a great site visit and class observation from our Peace Corps boss, facilitating trainings for trainees and Estelí teachers, and seeing tangible counterpart improvement), but we couldn’t quite shake these dark feelings that’d creep up on us during our down time.

This Saturday, Halloween, was a good example.  Despite a wonderful Friday spending the morning with our community of practice, eating lunch with four trainees from Nica 66 who will be in our region, and chatting away the afternoon catching up with multiple Nicaraguan friends, our joy from the day before evaporated and we found ourselves stuck, focusing on what we were lacking: pumpkin carving with family, pumpkin patching with friends, the comfort of tradition.

We ended the day with a plan of action to make the most out of our Sunday.  We’d reach out to relationships we are cultivating here, bring our traditions to Nicaragua, and snuggle with some babies in the process 🙂 Continue reading On Jack-o’-Lanterns and History: Cultural Exchange Chasing Away the Darkness

Chikungunya got you down? Keep going.

October 2015 Guidepost to Wholehearted Living
Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting go of Perfectionism

You’re lying in bed reading on your Kindle. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and the world seems peaceful. You’re reading one of your favorite series in Spanish to practice your translation skills. When you come across a word you don’t know, all you have to do is raise your hand and touch the screen for an automatic translation.

But you can’t.

You hurt too much to move your arms and touch the screen. Your hands are too swollen and painful to even bother reaching for that automatic translation. So you skip the word, and hope your comprehension can carry you through. If this has ever happened to you, and you’ve been living in a fairly tropical land with lots of mosquitoes, you might have Chikungunya. Continue reading Chikungunya got you down? Keep going.

We Share a Passion

Evaluation Community of Practice

We love our Community of Practice!  At the beginning of the year, the English teachers in the city got together and defined a CoP as, “A group of people who share a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better.”  Today we shared strategies for how to best evaluate if our students are actually learning English.  We looked at the four domains – speaking, listening, reading, writing – and share challenges, ideas, and successes.  Rubrics, exit tickets, presentations, self/peer evaluation, songs, dialogues… we had so much more to talk about than just grades.

Ana Cecilia: Entry 1

This is a guest post by Ana Cecilia in our Counterpart Diaries Series:

October 12, 2015

Hello, My name is Ana Cecilia Vásquez Rugama.


I am 39 years old.  I have worked at Guillermo Cano Public Institute as an English teacher for the last eight years.  Also, I have experience teaching in elementary school.  Nowadays, I work with students from 11 to 14 years old in seventh and eight grade in the morning shift.  I am a very responsible and creative teacher.  All the time I encourage the learning of English as a second language among students who do not have the opportunity to learn in another place due to low economic resources. Continue reading Ana Cecilia: Entry 1

TEFL Teaching Timeline

Andrew's Timeline

What an awesome life, not to mention a great way to review the past tenses with 10th graders.  Another area in which we work with our counterparts is that of developing materials.  We’re constantly trying to use interactive materials and make examples for our counterparts to use in the future.  After teaching / reviewing the past tense with the class, students worked on their own, applying the grammatical knowledge to a variety of verbs and experiences. It’s such a fun way to learn about our students, too!