The International PDS in La Esperanza, Honduras provides opportunities for teacher candidates and faculty members from Buffalo State and Moriah School to learn from one another - virtually and through face-to-face professional development.
La Esperanza, Honduras (view map) sits in the mountains at an altitude of 5600 feet, making it the highest city in Honduras. The city of La Esperanza is merged indistinguishably with the city of Intibucá, separated only by a street through the city. La Esperanza has two distinct seasons. The dry season or summer extends from November to April and the rainy season or winter from May to October. At an altitude of almost 1 mile high La Esperanza has the coolest climate in Honduras. Its population is estimated to be 6000 in the urban area and 4000 in the outlying areas. La Eserpanza is known as the center of the Ruta Lenca, a region of Lenca ethnic influence. The Lenca people have lived in regions of Hondruas since pre-Colombian times and are the largest ethnic group in Honduras. Brightly colored traditional Lenca dress abounds in La Esperanza. Many women’s groups use hand constructed wooden looms to produce traditional Lenca woven textiles such as ponchos, scarves, shawls and tablecloths. La Esperanza is also known for the production of sweet, liqueur-like wines from fruits such as strawberries, pears, peaches, and blackberries, as well as the local favorite, potatoes.
Sue McMillen, Mathematics
Over 3000 used children’s books have been donated to Moriah School for the creation of an English language school library.
Based on research demonstrating how movement helps students learn, numerous math activities incorporating movement have been developed and implemented at the school. Moriah students have benefited from this technique.
Graduate students in MAT501 - Math for Teachers: Algebra are identifying effective strategies for solving word problems and developing professional development materials to be shared with the teachers at Moriah. Dr. McMillen will lead the face-to-face professional development while visiting the school. She will also observe teachers implementing the strategies and analyze the resulting student work.
In September 2016, Crystal Holmes-Smith was welcomed into the Moriah School community as the new 4th and 5th grade teacher of Language, Mathematics, and Science.
Crystal is a graduate of the Elementary Education and Reading Department with a bachelor's in childhood education grades 1-6 (with a social studies extension grades 7-9) and a Liiteracy Specialist (Birth-12) masters. During her time at Buffalo State Crystal traveled abroad extensively to participate in educational voluteer and service learning and teaching and studying abroad programs. As an undergraduate she participated in the IPDS-Chile program to work with school children near Santiago. As a graduate student she particpated in the Anne Frank Project's trip to Rwanda to explore Drama-Based education with local teachers.
Crystal will complete at least one year of teaching at Moriah School. See for yourself the amazing experience that she is having with her new students!