We visited many more classrooms and spoke with students of all levels of English language learning. It was fun to engage them in conversations where they could practice listening and speaking. I co-taught lessons in grammar and pronunciation and demonstrated some activities to engage students in their learning.
At mid-day we made a trip to the city center where we bargained for souvenirs in the market and explored the “Troca Troca” swap market where all kinds of useful items (refrigerators, power cords, tools, and bicycles to name a few) were traded. Marcos, our driver (and aspiring politician), led us a good number of blocks in the strong sun and we finally had to admit that Teresina’s heat was living up to its reputation. We weren’t down and out yet. We still had some shopping left in us at the Central de Artesanato, a co-op of craft shops.
We returned to CCL for an afternoon workshop for the English teachers who gave up precious time to come listen to us. We shared Power Point/Prezi presentations of our lives back home and our work in our schools and about teaching techniques that we have found useful in our classrooms. We ended the workshop demonstrating a number of Improv activities designed to get students actively engaged in their learning. Soon we were all getting silly, pretending to be drivers and hitchhikers, talk show contestants, roller coaster riders, and movie stars whose gibberish needed a translator. It was good to laugh and step outside our usual serious teacher selves for a while.
A very memorable experience followed the teacher workshop. Josélia had told us that she was preparing a “box of surprises” for us during the 5-6 pm break. We were led into the faculty break room with great fanfare. In our absence, the room had been equipped with a karaoke machine, courtesy of Gildo, a teacher with musical talent and a fun and generous spirit. What ensued was the most fun I’ve ever experienced in a staff room.