Monday, May 7, 2018



PLASTIC: It is time to stop buying it. 





According to the dictionary, Plastic is a synthetic material made from a wide range of organic polymers such as polyethylene, PVC, nylon, etc., that can be molded into shape while soft and then set as a rigid or slightly elastic form. 

This statement is minuscule compared to the problems plastic has been causing around the world.
Can plastic be beneficial to anyone? Let's see what has been written about it.

According to The World Counts (www.theworldcounts.com) five trillion plastic bags will be used this year (160.000/sec) and 100 million tons of plastic. Most of it ends up in the oceans, where it is broken down into small pieces and eaten by sea animals, causing their death.
Academy-award winner Jeremy Irons shows in his video “Mockumentary” how a plastic bag gets to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a place in the middle of the ocean with millions of floating plastic bags trapped by the ocean current. 
The Garbage Patch has the amazing size of 2x Texas!
He says that not only plastic bags are the problem, but all kinds of plastic are swimming in our oceans. Here give examples of the other plastics that are not the bags - such as the microscopic pieces of polymer that are creating a toxic “soup”.
Why? Because although recycling has become quite popular, it isn't enough.

The population recycles only 10% of all the consumed plastic, another part is handled by responsible authorities but still a great part of plastic ends up in the oceans. As already said, fish whales, turtles, birds now include plastic as part of their food chain. Since these sea animals are part of the human food chain, we have been eating plastic as well. 

Given this fact, I have to agree with vegetarians: some meat is really disgusting. Katie Forster, in her article published in 21/05/2016 “Microplastics in the sea a growing threat to human health, United Nations warns” mentioned that microplastics in the sea pose a growing threat to human health. Plastic pollution is an enormous world problem. A lot has been done but we still have tons of work to do to change this scenario. Using plastic has become a habit but habits can be changed. So, when it comes to plastic, let's use the 6 R's that most, if not all, nature activists use: Reduce, choose products made of materials other than plastic Reuse, think of things you can reuse such as shopping bags, bottles, glasses, and straws; Recycle, shoes and clothes have lots of plastic fibers, donate them; Rethink, try to do things without using disposable plastic; Repair, if something made of plastic breaks, try to fix it or give it another use before trashing it; Refuse, say no to plastic, use metal forks or ceramic dishes instead of styrofoam.

We will always have plastic in our lives and it should be ok, after all, it is a great invention. We just need to put in its place. 

Mexico, for example, has been doing a great job with recycled plastic.
Carabaña, 19/03/18, wrote that Mexico is making a difference by recycling pet and making into homes for earthquakes victims. "Coca-Cola, Sprite, Pepsi and Lipton Ice Tea are just some of the brands on display on the labels of plastic bottles that will make up the new home for many victims of the earthquake.

The earthquake of September 19 left many without a roof and many volunteers from the organization Viviendas Emergentes, or Emerging Homes, (VIEM) are helping to build many new homes – one bottle at a time.

As a victim of the earthquake is building her home and says “We have not given so much already for this not to work,” says Vanessa. "I am going to devote my entire life to this. I am sure it is going to work." 
According to official data, 862 homes were damaged in Tetela del Volcan and another 1,200 in the surrounding towns. Carabaña mentions that locals complain that the reconstruction effort led more by social organizations than federal authorities, has been slow so much more funding is needed.

He mentioned as well that the organization began to receive help from people in Mexico City as well as businesses who offered trucks to move the PET. In the capital alone, they were able to collect one million bottles. Around 15,000 bottles and 60,000 to 80,000 pesos (€3,000 to €4,000) are needed to build a 40-square-meter house. 
As educators, professionals, mothers, and women we should avoid buying plastics and to stop polluting our environment and destroying our lives. 

by Marli Camargo

Bibliography

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriewinkless/2016/07/21/these-houses-are-built-with-blocks-made-from-waste-plastic/#6d54d18e7894
  2. (www.theworldcounts.com
  3. CARABAÑA ;CARLOS 2018, EL PAÍS- MÉXICO 
  4. FOSTER, Katie ; 2016 - “The Independent online.” https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/microplastics-microbeads-ocean-sea-serious-health-risks-united-nations-warns.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mission: Excellence in Education
By Ana Paula Fiechter

   As teachers, we should know the importance of knowing our students well enough to understand their behaviors and learning process in class. Teachers are in constant training, updating courses, learning different ways of teaching and how to recognize the real difficulties of a student. However, most schools keep proudly the title of having a traditional educational system. Most of the time, this title forbids the appliance of some helpful techniques learned but as considered as modern methods, they cannot be used in a traditional school. How many children could be studying in a pleasant way, without fighting against their own obstacles if only a teacher would campaign for the right of using unconventional resources?


   In Europe, for example, a child with hyperactivity can have a teddy bear on his lap during class because it has been shown that it helps to calm the child. To sit on a Pilates ball can help a child to focus during learning and even listening to music while working elevates the level of concentration of a person. These are only some examples of simple solutions that can be easily used to help children to soften whatever condition they might have. It is quite sad to see that despite all knowledge acquired by some teachers, and school directors, the job done in the every day routine is still the one that feels more comfortable for the teacher. It is necessary to change this, to get out of the comfort zone, to try out new things. And all this starts by the teacher. It is the teacher who has the most contact to the students and should know their needs and so, it is the teacher who can in first place bring to the higher authorities the positive results conquered by a new experience.
   The principles of integration in an ordinary system of education have brought the thought about the need of a psycho-pedagogical intervention in class. Teachers need to revise the new proposals and make a different process of integration, the adaptation of specialized human resources and materials that may contribute to a new model of special education allowing teaching with quality.
Rafael Bautista Jimenez in his article “Special Education and Education Reform” (2002-Bautista Rafael; Necesidades Educativas Especiales) mentions that the concept of learning with difficulties has changed. In the past, the child was the only guilty, “it was inside him”. Nowadays, it is considered that the school, which doesn't do the needed adaptations, has a big responsibility in the final learning process results.
   Special needs is an issue that can bring up so many topics. Here the aim is just to remember the role and importance of the teacher in this process of transformation inside and outside the classroom, how children are different and how the process of learning can vary greatly from child to child.
   Children need to be respected and receive from school the necessary support to overcome the difficulties and reach the desired level of learning to live well and understand some important basics concepts for their lives and surroundings. 


Best regards, Ana




Wednesday, February 28, 2018



Building Rapport Is the First Step

Mission: Altruism

by Rebeca Olagaray

Lately, difficult times have hit us, in the U.S.A. with hurricanes falling over Houston and Puerto Rico. In Mexico, several places across the country have suffered terrible earthquakes:
Mexico City, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Morelos.
So this situation has put us all to work.
     In Morelos, you could see disaster zones practically everywhere. So our ETA Chapter made a first approach by doing some field research. We visited Miacatlán, Coatetelco, Tehuixtla, Tlaquiltenango, Jojutla, and focussed on schools and their needs. We talked basically with directors, finding out their needs: many fallen stone walls, many different sized cracks on classrooms, breakfast for their students, help for their teachers that had lost their home, and so on. But with this first approach, we also found out that schools in those communities were official schools on the official SEP protocol, and getting involved in aid activities with them could mean getting involved and lost in bureaucracy.


     By that time our National ADK President in Mexico, Debby Dunhame had already got in touch with Rotary Club of Jardines de Cuernavaca. We began helping them with their deliveries of aid, and collaborating with them in three activities with children related to traditional festivities: on December 22, a Mexican posada with games and piñatas and bags of candy and fruit for 120 children on Tetecalilla; on January 6, the traditional Rosca de Reyes (Three Wise Men Cake) with 230 boxes with presents for the children of Amacuitlapilco; and on February 2, with 80 bags of stuffed animals and toys for children in El Pañuelo indian community. All of them belonged to very poor pheasant families that haven’t been alphabetized. Now that they have seen us, in case we are able to do any further labor with them, they will recognize us helping things flow more easily.

     This approach to people sets the the kind of rapport in which we befriend them with fun and happy activities. We could say this is a temporary rapport. If you disappear from their lives as soon as the activity ends, nothing happens. There is no further expectation.

     Another kind of rapport is established when you carry somehow the star of a promise on your forehead. When people sense this, the relationship may be established in two ways:

     One is that of the saviour and the victim, the one that extends the hand. Sometimes, in this case, the person who offers help may fall in the temptation of feeding his or her ego, and the person in the disaster case (like an earthquake) may get used to wait for aid and help -extending this situation indefinitely.

     On the other hand, the promise is based in a more horizontal relationship of colleagues: “I can do it” / “I will accompany you”. Participation levels are high on both sides. They are task oriented. 

     In the process of the rapport building of this horizontal relationship, there are, nevertheless, three important things that are to be taken into account and done: 

  • It has been proven that the expectations you have from another person is what that person gives. If your expectations are high the person will be highly responsive. And this is mutual. The expectations a person has of him or herself is also a variable that may show up, but even in a case of low self-esteem high expectations bring forth high achievement. 
  • It is important, therefore, to give a quick follow-up to the fulfilment of the expectations, in whichever part of the process it may be. If not, the enthusiasm may become deceit and restoring confidence may become point less than impossible -and collateral, horizontal participation that involves both sides is a must in order to achieve a self-sustaining effective project. Remember that the persona in a situation he or she wants to overcome has also high expectations of that promise: “They’ll help me to find the ways and means to grow independent.” As a matter of fact, this is the kind of aid a person that is not broken by a disaster situation wants. This link between the social volunteer and those in disaster zone is the one that arises synergy. 
  • In any case, it is essential to begin by defining space to keep a good communication between the parts. To properly define the spaces involved, we formulate the question: “In whose space is...(the need, the achievement, he opinion, the feeling...?” In order to keep real the expectations we may have of one another, it is very important to define space together so everybody will be aware and know which are those expectations they are to fulfill. 

El mar es las olas
Por Antonio Luquín
“Sólo el polvo es indestructible.”
José Emilio Pacheco

   ¿De dónde sale tanto polvo? Y no acababa de contar la innumerable multiplicación del polvo que, conforme se aproximaba a mí llegaba transformado en rostros, cuerpos diminutos, brazos, piernitas y –sobre todo– ojos, entre agradecidos y suplicantes …manitas que esperan lo que sea.

   Lo que sea, puede suceder en México. Uno puede conversar animadamente en una fonda sin saber, quizá, que la persona a nuestro lado sea un sicario, un simpático matón a sueldo, y que éste sea el padre furtivo de quién sabe cuántos en quién sabe cuántas comunidades. 

   Y también puede uno encontrar pequeños de apenas 6 o 7 años que ayudan a sus padres en las labores del campo. La educación de la tierra los vuelve hombres a los 13 años y luego piedras, que a su vez se desmoronan y se vuelven polvo.

   La visita a la comunidad de San Gabriel Amacuitlapilco en el Estado de Morelos ha sido un privilegio para todos nosotros. Nos ha enseñado –recordado en realidad– que somos un país generoso y agradecido, un país donde dan más los que menos tienen y cuya alegría no radica en el recibir, sino en el dar (cualquiera de ellos nos habría llevado a su humilde casa a compartir frijoles y tortillas y hasta nos habría ofrecido hospedaje, de haberlo pedido).

   Al pueblo fantasma aquél al que llegamos le bastó una sola llamada para congregarse y convertirse en una marea de risas y expectación, porque el mar es las olas, mismo que llegó y nos revolcó para después retirarse a vivir los siglos, a donde van acompañados de un milagroso juguete que los habrá de seguir quién sabe cuántos años y hasta quizás hereden.

Monday, November 13, 2017

EL NIÑO QUE NO APRENDE DE ACUERDO A SU POTENCIAL

Misión: Excelencia en la educación
Por Raquel Munitz

Declaración del Consejo Mexicano de Optometría Funcional:
    “Se estima que actualmente 1 de cada 4 niños en edad escolar sufre problemas de la visión no diagnosticados, mismos que afectan su funcionamiento en la escuela y fuera de ella, dado que muchas habilidades visuales son necesarias para aprender correctamente en el salón de clases; las deficiencias de una o más habilidades visuales pueden contribuir al funcionamiento académico pobre.
    60% de lo que el niño aprende en la escuela se procesa a través del sistema visual. Incluso un problema de proceso visual de menor importancia interferirá con un niño  o adulto al tratar de desarrollar su potencial.“

    Por tanto, es importante conocer que buena  Vista y  buena Visión no son sinónimos; se puede tener buena vista y no buena visión.
    Definición de buena Vista:  Ver con claridad a una distancia de 6 metros la línea 10 en  una cartilla diseñada y estandarizada para medir agudeza visual. La Vista Perfecta corresponde a 20/20 .
    Definición de buena Visión: Ver claro (enfoque) y sencillo (fusionar cada una de las imágenes recibidas por ambos ojos y crear la 3D), a todas las distancias, en todos los puntos de la mirada y por el tiempo suficiente, para recabar la información recibida por el sistema visual.
    
    Al niño que tiene dificultades en clase es importante valorarlo para explorar si tiene buena vista y si tiene buena visión.
    La  evaluación de la vista la puede hacer una enfermera, educadora, maestra, o cualquier persona que esté entrenada para observar la respuesta del individuo a la Cartilla de Agudeza.
    Una vez que se ha determinado que el alumno valorado tiene buena vista y que, a pesar de esto, no puede desempeñarse con eficiencia en el salón de clase, se debe sospechar que existen Problemas Visuales Funcionales que deberán ser apropiadamente evaluados por un profesionista especializado en la atención Funcional del Sistema Visual: Éste profesionista es un Optometrista de Desarrollo o Conductual, quien evaluará las siguientes funciones del sistema visual :
Agudeza visual,
Eficiencia del sistema oculo-motor,
Eficiencia del sistema de Enfoque,
Eficiencia del sistema Binocular,
Habilidades Viso-Perceptuales.
Macintosh HD:Users:raquel:Desktop:procesamiento perceptivo.jpgpediatric-vision-care.jpg                                                                                                   

    Una vez que se ha practicado la Evaluación Visual Funcional, el Optometrista de Desarrollo decide si es necesario el uso de lentes  que permitan buena vista de lejos y de cerca y, en algunos casos, el inicio de un programa de Terapia Visual.
 El abordaje de Tratamiento denominado Optometría Funcional está documentado desde el año 1937 por el Dr . Skeffington, a quien se considera el padre de la Optometría Funcional y, a partir de él, por un gran número de Optometristas en todo el mundo que se han especializado en la práctica de esta disciplina.

    Para mayor información consultar las páginas de:
  1. COVD   College of Vision Development,
  2. COMOF  Consejo Mexicano de Optometría Funcional,
  3. Y numerosas publicaciones como Total Vision Dr. Richard S. Kavner & Lorraine Dusky.
  4. 20/20 is not enough Dr. Sheinman,
  5. Y la muy famosa y reciente  publicación en el New York Times: Stereo Sue.
Quedo a sus ordenes Raquel Munitz Psic. NDT COVTT NVPT.
 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Value of Cultural Immersion and Competency
for Teachers from the USA

Mission: Excellence in Education
& World Understanding
By Harriet Guerrero


Teacher training is always constant. We are always learning something new, seeing new trends and adapting them to specific needs in the classroom.


One way that my team has been contributing to this is a workshop offered in Cuernavaca during the summer for teachers on how to integrate Mexican culture and history into the classroom. This is geared to teachers from the USA who either teach Spanish or who teach other subjects and have students from Spanish speaking backgrounds in their classrooms.
The teacher needs to understand the students and the students need to understand the teacher!


The program includes intensive Spanish language at different levels, presentations on topics such as the Mexican Family,  “Día de Muertos”, the Virgin of Guadalupe,  Mexico’s Gifts to the World, Celebrations in Mexico, such as the Christmas Posadas, Baptisms, Quince años, Semana Santa.  In other words, understanding Mexico through its traditions, celebrations, and history.


We get out of the classroom and visit places such as downtown Cuernavaca and its museums and historic sites. We also visit Xochicalco, Taxco, Tepoztlan, places in Mexico City such as the Museum of Anthropology, Bazaar Sabado, Templo Mayor, Teotihuacan, the murals in the National Palace and much more. All of this to give people more than just an introduction to Mexico.


The Cuernavaca Children’s Mission offers tutoring for Mexican children twice a week in downtown Cuernavaca and many of the teachers have participated in helping children to succeed and graduate from ‘secundaria’ and ‘prepa’.  


We also ask people that come to Cuernavaca to bring a bottle of vitamins to donate to the VAMOS program. The children that come to their programs are given a meal and a vitamin.  Sometimes this is the only meal they have during the day.  The results have been amazing. Our school has been collecting vitamins for them for over 15 years now.


These comments from some of the participants say it better than I can:


Tina:
I was delighted when I won the a scholarship through the Ohio Foreign Language Association to study at the Cemanahuac Educational Community of Cuernavaca, Mexico. Was further delighted to find out that there was a two-week program exclusively for educators. Although my expectations were high, my experience was even better than I imagined. I attended classes, stayed with a host family, and participated in organized trips both in Cuernavaca and to other towns. Perhaps best of all, I was able to meet passionate Spanish teachers from all over the United States.
The teachers and staff were kind and helpful and the class sizes were small and adapted to my level and interests. They also were tireless in planning activities that were enriching to us as teachers, such as a field trip to an educational center in a rural Xochicalco underground cavern town, a trip to a teacher supply store, opportunities for intercambios, and much more.
I think for many safety is a concern when considering a trip to Mexico. I took basic precautions such as guarding my purse in public and not walking alone late at night. That being said, I never felt unsafe. Everyone I interacted with was kind and helpful and no one made me feel uneasy for any reason. The staff was there to help us feel comfortable in our surroundings and to answer any questions that we had about this issue. Please do not avoid this wonderful country because of safety concerns!


Michelle:
When I first received information I received a scholarship to study in Mexico, I was very nervous about what it would be like. Contrary to popular belief and what the media presents, my experience in Mexico was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I had opportunities to connect with teachers from 16 states as well as native Spanish speakers from Mexico. It was a fast-paced trip, filled with information about the past and present culture and history of Mexico. We had short afternoon and full day trips to visit beautiful places around Cuernavaca. I had opportunities to practice my vocabulary and grammar in the morning, and then culture sessions about different topics within Mexican culture. I connected with my housemates and my lovely host mother, Lorena. I learned that while we may have many differences, it's our job as teachers to bring back the culture of Mexico to our peers, family, friends, and students in order to build bridges, not walls. I can't wait to go back to Cuernavaca. :)


Chelsea:
My time at Cemanahuac was incredible! I learned more in two weeks than I have in years of continuing education classes. I am not a Spanish teacher--I teach Special Education, but there is a large Spanish-speaking community within my district that I felt I could better serve by learning more about Mexican culture and improving my Spanish.
This program greatly improved my ability to interact with my students and their families, and I couldn't be more grateful for my experience. We learned about the language and the culture, both inside of the classroom, and out. Among my favorite memories are hiking Teotihuacan, baking ‘pan dulce’ at Ocuituco, exploring Taxco, climbing the Piramide del Sol, and going to the temazcal. The experiences I had in Mexico and the fellow teachers I was privileged to share my time with are once-in-a-lifetime memories. I can say with 100% certainty that being at Cemanahuac made me not only a better teacher, but also a better person.  


Harriet Guerrero
ADK Eta chapter Mexico
Cuernavaca, September 2017


Casa Tatic 2017.JPG
climbed Tepozteco.JPG
Hike up to the Tepozteco pyramid

cooking class.jpg
Cooking class at the Fundación Rayuela in Ocuituco
Dalel wshop 2017.JPG
The classroom

Frida's necklace.jpg
Trying on Frida's necklaces in Taxco
Taxco trip2jul17.jpg
Welcome luncheon at Casa Hidalgo on the zocalo.


tchrs Casa Hidalgo 3 jul 17.jpg

Friday, September 1, 2017

Creative Writing, a way to enjoy literature

2017 Educational Symposium – New Orleans, USA
AKD INTERNACIONAL –  ADK ETA Cuernavaca, México
Creative Writing, a Way to Enjoy Literature


Mission:Excellence in Education
by Marli Camargo


Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to undertake some reflection concerning the importance of creative writing. We will explore how teachers can develop and teach a creative narrative, based on their own environment for children and adults.

What is Literature?

According to the Dictionary of literary terminology, literature is:
  • An act of communication between the emissary (author), the message (text), and the receptor (public).
  • Art, reading and writing, and also the basic disciplines of culture: Grammar and rhetoric.
    – Calderón, 2000 (Breve diccionario de términos literarios)

What matters to the reader?

According to Proust, what matters to readers are:
"...words that cause emotions like anguish, a feeling of rejection, darkness, being abandoned."
These kinds of words matter to all humans, from the duchess, the princess, the diplomatic, the writers, the soldiers, the painters etc.
   – (Hiriart, page 10)

Through creative writing the reader can:

  • Travel among the words;
  • Meet the main protagonists;
  • Experience the environment;
  • Visit faraway places or the same space where you are, while traveling back and forward in time;
  • Reflect, live, create and give their own opinion.

Basic elements to help practice writing:
  • Reading constantly;
  • Using the words in an artistic way;
  • Identifying the meaning;
  • Identifying the content.

How to approach creative writing?
Sensorial memory
Use words as:
1- Onomatopoeia  (imitate the sound)  
2- Symbols –  (ex: - citizenship of heaven)
3- Abstracts thoughts- (thinking that is coherent and logical).

How to approach curiosity in writing?
  • The secret of writing;
  • The details ( people, the actions, the thoughts, the desire);
  • Figurative language:
  1. similes (like or as),
  2. metaphors –make one from yourself,
  3. Images –example: children´s books.

How to feed the muse?
  • Experiences from our own lives;
  • Our reactions towards these experiences;
  • The facts, names, dates,  emotions, passions, memories, etc.
For example:
1- The excitement of reading different poems or exploring old libraries;
2- Note keeping;
3- Starting from “..I remember... ”

Where can I get inspiration?
  • the diversity of people’s lives;
  • the weather;
  • the flavors of the food;
  • the culture (traditions, the beliefs);
  • the place you live.
Example: Simple things like onions (see Pablo Neruda, The Onion).

The writing adventure
I would compare the process to a journey of traveling to somewhere for the first time.
For instance, having only a slight idea about the place that you will be to visiting.
According to Bachelard, the writing adventure is “..to experiment the sensations and emotions that the person has felt in relation to the place where she is”.
– (González, 9)

Creative writing
Brings a sense of belonging to the place such as:
A city, the streets, the plazas, the historic centers and the neighborhoods;
It creates a sense of identity;
Making you or the reader a part of the community.

The importance of space in creative writing
In creative writing you can create your own space;
Space gives us the power to be near the people of the community and also to show our identities to other communities;
Gives the opportunity to learn about heritage, natural resources and the regions where you come from or live;
It involves different sectors such as: cultural, touristic and social.

Creative writing and the sustainability
Creative writing has sustainability because the author can cooperate with the community in different ways like the work with:
  • Illustrator and editorials;
  • Government and micro-entrepreneurs;
  • Schools and families;
  • It encourages the writer to involve him/herself to different sectors such as cultural, touristic and social;
  • Schools, families, and hospitals;
  • Government.

How to apply it to children's literature?
Have a look to the author´s book  "Cuernavaca - The Eterna Primavera", by Marli Camargo.

Conclusion
Through creative writing many things can happen:
  • You can become famous and travel around talking about it;
  • cooperate with a sustainable society;
  • teach children and adults  how to do that;
  • Adults  can be encouraged to write and involve themselves to different sectors, such as cultural, touristic and social;
  • It encourages the writer  to involve him/herself to different sectors;
  • It creates a sense of identity;
  • It makes you, or the reader, a part of the community.

Bibliography
Calderón, Demetrio Estébanez, 2000 Breve Diccionario de Términos Literarios – Alianza Editorial
Hiriart, Berta Guijosa Marcela, 2015 Taller Escritura Creativa – Paidós, México
González, Diego Sánchez; Moreno, Luis Angel,  2014 Identidad y Espacio Público – Gedisa Editorial, Barcelona
Camargo, Marli, 2012 Como o turismo pode ser usado para a aprendizagem da cultura mexicana na região de Cuernavaca, Morelos – Universidad de León, España