A professional development opportunity for
teachers working with Latino students
"Travel breaks down a kind of inner structure we
have. Stripped of our props, deprived of our masks, we are
completely on the surface of ourselves." --Albert Camus
The next scheduled La Maestra program will be offered in
Alajuela, Costa Rica for three weeks in the Summer of 2012.
Please contact Erin with
any questions at 663-2249 or
The participant cost for three weeks of Spanish classes
daily, homestay, activities, and 1 professional development
credit is: $2675. Flight and additional credit costs are
Here is a link to a
presentation from a former Alajuela, Costa Rica participant's
Download a 2012 flier
Dates and Cost
Comments from 2007 Participants
Links to Resources
Contact Erin at
firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for
Participants in the MAESTRA program will have the opportunity to
Alajuela, Costa Rica for three weeks
to learn about the culture and people, the education system, and
the nuances of Mexican Spanish in order to facilitate effective
communication in the classroom. This 1, 3, or 6 credit graduate level
program offers a unique opportunity to learn about
teacher-student and parent-teacher relationships in Latin
America all in the context of learning Spanish.
The program includes an orientation session and a follow up
session at Edgewood College and is open to teachers in Wisconsin School Districts.
This professional development opportunity can be included in a
teachers' development plan or applied to a Masters Degree at
Edgewood College. It addresses standards 3,5, 6, 9, and 10 of
the Wisconsin Teacher Standards.
1. To increase personal understanding of
Costa Rica and the education system in Latin America
through a first-hand travel experience.
2. To examine the differences/similarities in the culture and
education system of Latin America through classroom observations and
interactions with teachers.
3. To improve Spanish speaking, reading and writing skills
4. To recognize the challenges that face
students from Latin America in the classroom due to differences in their homeland
5. To integrate global understanding and awareness in the
Wisconsin classroom and school at large.
• Pre-departure themed orientation on
Costa Rica, classroom differences, and cultural awareness. Credit registration will
take place at this time.
• Pre-departure logistics dinner with a discussion on culture-shock,
cross-cultural sensitivity, what to pack, safety and security,
• Spanish Classes: 50 hours of
intensive Spanish instruction at your proficiency level.
Observations: Teachers will visit a variety of schools, observe
classrooms, and talk with teachers and administrators.
• Workshops and Lectures: A variety of workshops and
lectures that will cover the Mexican educational system,
relationships among teachers, parents and students,
fossilization of errors, culture and curriculum in Mexico, and
the effect of immigration on students.
• Intercambio: work one to one with a native Spanish
speaker on improving
his/her English while you improve your Spanish.
• Cultural visits: visits to local cultural points of
• Excursions: 2 excursions to colonial cities and
Homestay: lodging is with local Costa Rican families
(private room/full board).
• A reflective journal (with excerpts to be published in
the TESOL program newsletter).
Post-international experience highlights:
follow-up session (presentation of credit projects, journal
discussion, and ways to use new knowledge in the classroom.)
Dates and Cost:
The international component of the program
dates will tentatively be:
June 16 - July 7, 2012. Additional weeks at added costs are
A pre and post-departure orientation will
also take place, with dates TBA.
The current estimated cost is
approximately $2675, which includes three weeks
of room and
board (2 meals a day), Spanish classes, excursions, activities, and one graduate
This price does not
include airfare or additional credit cost.
Mail your application to:
1000 Edgewood College Dr.
Madison, WI 53711
Or, drop it off in DeRicci 109, or fax it to 608-663-6902.
Additional credits are $200/each.
Participants have the option of enrolling in the 1, 3, or 6
Discussion of these requirements and
credit registration will take place at the pre-departure
orientation session in April.
AmeriSpan specializes in language immersion programs, academic
study abroad, volunteer/internship placements and other
educational travel experiences. Since starting in 1993,
AmeriSpan has grown tremendously sending more than 22,000 people
"My family was
wonderful. I kept telling them that I felt like they really were
'family'. My mom was about my age and her children were similar
ages. It felt like I was staying with a cousin or a best friend.
We really shared family stories and were able to compare family
life with each other."
"I loved going to
the rural school, La Colonia. All the school staff were
informative and warm."
"I learned a
tremendous amount from both of our excursions, as well as our
city tour, about Mexican history - and they also provided me
with a lot of food for thought about how to teach students in a
more meaningful, hands-on way, about history and culture in
"I had a fabulous
time and didn't want to come home!"
For more information on this program
In order to familiarize yourself with Mexico, language
study, and traveling abroad, we have provided you with links to
some informative books, articles and websites. The more time you
dedicate to preparing yourself for this experience, the more you
will be able to gain from the program itself.
Mexican history, culture and education:
Crossing Over by Ruben Martinez
Novels by Luis Alberto Urrea
The Latino Reader: An American Literary
Tradition from 1542 to the Present
(Editor), Margarite Fernández Olmos
La Frontera / Borderlands
by Gloria Anzaldua and Sonia Saldivar-Hull
by Elva Trevino
Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants
by Jorge Castañeda
Education in Mexico (Wikipedia)
Preventing Violence and Lowering dropout
rate in Mexico City Schools by
The Sights, Sounds, and People of Morelia,
Mexico by David B. Wix
Living Like a Native in Morelia, Mexico
by David Wix
Fond Memories and a Common Sense Approach
by David Wix
Life in Limbo: Crossing the U.S.-Mexican
Border by Malia Politzer
Latino Youth: Immigration, Education and
the Future by Pedro A. Noguera
And What Will Become of Children Like
Miguel Fernandez? by Pedro A Noguera
Keeping La Llorona Alive in the Shadow of
Cortes: What an Examination of Literacy in Two Mexican Schools
Can Teach U.S. Educators by Anne-Marie Hall
Hispanic Center: Research on Latino experiences in a Changing
Mexico Daily (newspaper)
Spanish tutorials to get you up to speed
Learn some phrases before you go!
The Four Secrets to Long Term Retention
Getting a Passport
Health and Safety in Mexico