Dear Long Way Home community member,
2020 was incredibly challenging on our school staff and teachers due to the situation in Guatemala. They have shown how resilient they are, and it is reflected in how they have handled the current pandemic and the challenge of teaching kids and teenagers from very disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers work hard to ensure a unique and quality education for our students. One of the biggest challenges they faced was how to continue delivering quality education when lots of students did not have access to devices nor internet to attend online classes. After a lot of community consultation and discussion amongst the staff, a decision was made to create a sort of blended method to continue teaching students in an individualized and personal manner as is done at our Hero School.
Guatemala operates on a traffic color system, meaning as the colors of a traffic stop due in relation to rules for COVID-19. San Juan Comalapa has been in between orange and red for the past several months, and so the school made an executive decision to close down campus for the students and on an only necessary basis for teachers and administrative staff. This meant that as of February, classes have not taken place on campus. This meant that teachers had to come up with the best way to continue teaching.
Before deciding how to continue classes during a pandemic, students and their families were given a questionnaire to ask what would be their preferred method of teaching. There was an overwhelming amount of support for individual house visits from teachers, especially from the younger students whose parents are both usually working to support the household. Teachers then decided to implement bi-monthly house visits to students, alongside worksheets given every fifteen days to students during their house visit. This method has proven to be very effective, as both students and teachers really enjoy meeting in person and exchanging knowledge. These visits usually last between 2-3 hours, and takes each teacher various days to complete the grade they are teaching. In these visits teachers hand out guides that were structured by them to include studying material for two weeks. These guides also include materials needed, of which teachers are very mindful to not put anything very costly due to the majority of student's socio-economic situation.
We hope that as the situation begins to get better we will be able to once again welcome students on campus. Until then, we continue to thank and be incredibly grateful for the entire educational team at Hero School for their above and beyond dedication to their students and the school. We are so incredibly fortunate to have them as part of the team.
And we want to thank you for your continued support and/or donations towards LWH. It helps us continue to support our incredible teachers and staff in everything that they do. Thank you!
Students from 5th grade
5th grade student and younger brother
3rd grade student showing off a project
Student showing game that he made
3rd grade student working on some homework