Some of my most meaningful work, I must say, was developing and teaching "Learn English with Alyssa," a dynamic ten-week program dedicated to teaching conversational English in a unique and cultural way. I was given complete autonomy to teach in whatever manner I like, buy anything necessary to run my course and determine the class structure and schedule.
The amount of prep time that went into the course was plentiful, but I was able to use my course textbook, teacher's book and extensive use of the World Wide Web, I was able to teach with passion and great knowledge. Naturally, I don't remember learning English because as my native language, it just happened. I don't have an English degree and I'm not certified to teach the language, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to learn as much as I could in order to teach. Research, study time and taking notes made it all possible. I didn't want to seem like I had no clue what I was talking about, so I made sure I could answer every question that was asked.
My classroom was small, my resources were limited, I did not have a budget for the class and I did not speak Creole fluently, but I made the most of my experience for myself and my students. I hired an assistant to help me and although we did not always see eye to eye, his aid was beneficial at times when I needed it most.
We spent ten weeks getting to know each other culturally and personally, playing games and exchanging ideas. Not only did my students learn, but I learned and grew too. My language skills increased in Creole and in French during the duration of the course.
My favorite class, naturally, was the children's course, but only because kids are unafraid to try new things. I learned that Haitians, culturally, do not practice English because they are afraid to make mistakes. Many people here know a lot of English grammar rules and vocabulary, but lack practice because of fear. Children, however, don't have the same fears. They are ready to take on the world and they have fun while doing it. Every week, we played games, exercised, yelled and learned in an extremely unconventional way. We sang songs, danced, and afterwards, we enjoyed a snack together to end each class. Kids are fun!
Overall, the programs was a success. I'm content with how much my students learned, how much I grew personally, and how proud I am of the progress of Light for Living International Ministries, INC. and Frontier Projects Haiti. My time here has been nothing short of a blessing; having the ability to manage and support such influential programs. It was an honor to teach.
Finally, this video captures the essence of the 10 week ESL program that was developed and orchestrated by myself, missionary, Alyssa Barber through the Light for Living International Ministries, INC. and Frontier Projects Haiti. The course was administered at Libellule Training Academy in Carrefour, Haiti and proudly served 24 students in children, beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. On Sunday, December 16, 2018, a celebration was held where students came together at CCLV to be awarded for their accomplishments.