Monday, September 15, 2008

Quien Soy Yo? - Who Am I?

"Quien Soy Yo?" is a program curriculum for children between the ages of 8 and 14 to learn more and develop their own self-esteems. It was created by a Peru-5 volunteer who only recently returned to the States after taking a third year and being a tech trainer for Peru-11. The curriculum uses activities such as personal flag, discussions about the things that make us special, as well as tools that help the children think about their favorite things and what they like about themselves. This has become an important tool for Youth Development volunteers here in Peru. It's a great curriculum that you can just jump into as soon as you get to site whether your Spanish is great or poor. Plus, any teacher, public official, health worker, social service worker, or educated person in Peru will tell you that everyone in Peru needs to have their self-esteem built up.

In the United States we don't really ever think about this. My generation has been practically raised on self-esteem and self-discovery, but it's easy to see the effects that a low self-esteem can have on children or their country. I know that might sound dramatic, but really believe that working with young people and their parents to raise self-esteem would help drop the statistics on alcoholism, familial violence, and poverty. Having a healthy self-esteem not only makes you more confident in yourself but in your ideas and your ability to carry them out. Their is a lot of idea stealing in Peru. If one business sprouts up that is successful, in a matter of weeks you will see five more just like it and right next door. Yet, Peru is country rich in resources and the people I have met have the most untapped potential.

When I arrived in Jangas, I immediately started teaching "Quien Soy Yo?" in two classes of fourth graders. They seem to enjoy the class, and every where I walk I get greeted with a "Buenos Dias, Profesora" and a kiss in the cheek. I already see some of the quieter kids coming out of their shells. And the kids now state with a little more conviction their likes and dislikes. But they're still learning to appreciate themselves and those things that make them special. I'm hoping to rap up this class and move on to something else. I also am looking forward to doing similar curriculums (but slightly different in the older classes).

These are the two teachers that I work with. The top picture is of Prof. Blanca and the bottom is Prof. Rosa. They're great teachers. I'm very impressed with their professionalism and desire to work with me. Plus, their students are pretty well-behaved.


Mardy said...

Hey...I have some activities of a similar nature that would be applicable with older students if you're interested.

I think the "Who am I" class is great!

Auntie Tine said...

I am using my second favourite name to blog. Just reread your blog and remember teaching Child development and doing self esteem stuff in the U.S. That is like taking kangaroos to Australia! But some less confident kids do blossom.
When Heather was here She saw some dairy produce had the LUCERNE brand and found it a is a poor name because you never feed lucerne to cows (In OZ we call alfalfa, lucerne.) So I was interested about the sheep eating alfalfa and getting sick.