Day 3: Challenges and Flexibility for the Nursing Students

 

As we prepared for this trip we tried to plan our schedule and activities as much as possible, but already we have had to make a number of small adjustments.  We did talk with the students about this ahead of time, but they are now in the midst of it.

One challenge we are dealing with is that the ages of the children within the groups and between groups varies from early elementary through high school – making lesson development and flexibility a challenge, especially when most of us don’t have the language skills to adjust as we would in English.

Yesterday afternoon we hit one of those challenges.  We were scheduled to teach our lessons to a youthgroup in Monte Adventro, on Nutrition and Healthy Lungs – two priority health issues based on the work we did last year.  However, at lunch we found that our afternoon group would be older teen boys who live in a very high-risk environment and we were asked to switch from the Nutrition lesson to the HIV/STD/Human sexuality lesson as this was felt to be priority information for this group of boys.  The Healthy Lungs / Don’t Smoke lesson would also be important, but Megan needed to modify it for the age group as well.  Fortunately, the two students who were called on for the rapid changes are also the two with the strongest skills in Spanish.  For the Healthy Lungs lesson, instead of using her planned narrative, Megan worked through the different topics by asking the boys what they knew, and then reinforcing or correcting information as needed.   Carson, who is fluent in Spanish, conducted her class in a similar manner – having the boys work in groups to prepare brief presentations about what they knew about different aspects of these topics, having them write questions anonymously, and so on.  We used the bananas planned for the nutrition lesson to demonstrate condom application.

All in all, our students rose to the occasion and the boys were very attentive and seemed to really enjoy the class.

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