Charee with her class of middle school students in Dominican Republic

Charee Neves

Technology and Engineering Education, Graduate

What international experience have you had?

I worked with the MACILE (Math Science Language Engineering) program as a teacher for five weeks in Itabo, Dominican Republic. It was a summer school program where the classes I taught specialized in engineering and technology. We prepared our own lesson plans and curriculum under the direction of Dr. Steven Shumway, and then worked with teaching partners to teach it during the time we were down there.
 
In my classroom, we learned about magnets and played with them. They built a maglev track and had to build vehicles that would hover over the track and race down it. Other activities included BINGO reviews, circuit building, team builders, etc.
 
I really enjoyed playing soccer with the students during the lunch break. It always made them really excited when I'd go out and play. It was a great way to build a good relationship with the students and gain their respect in the classroom. It also rained a ton while we were there, so many days we would walk to the school and classroom wading through a foot or so of water. It was a fun experience with its fair share of joys and difficulties.  
 

What have you learned through your experience in engineering?

I learned that education is the same wherever you go. A teacher needs to build a relationship with the students in order to have them open their minds and hearts to what you are teaching.

Without the students' respect and understanding, the life lessons all of them need to learn will never reach their minds, much less their hearts.