LHS Spanish Exchange Spotlight
Mrs. Ronetta Bough, Loogootee High School Spanish teacher, recently traveled to Valdemoro, Spain (a suburb of Madrid) to meet with Maestro Matías Bravo High School teachers Lola Ramos (Head of the Philosophy and Theory of Knowledge Department) and Maica Maroto (English). The teachers presented school yearbooks to each other so that staff and students may learn more about the schools and the students' activities. Mrs. Bough visited the school, met with the MMB teachers and principal Elena Rodado, observed classes, and presented lessons to teachers and students. LHS and MMB students are currently sharing and collaborating through an online platform called Padlet. Loogootee Spanish students will be working with students who are studying English as a 2nd language.
The Indiana Department of Education and the Spanish Ministry of Education helped establish the sister school partnership between Loogootee and Maestro Matías Bravo schools. After collaborating with a school in Chicago for nearly 10 years, Maestro Matias Bravo High School is very excited to now work with Loogootee High School. The LHS-MMB partnership has tremendous potential to broaden perspectives and strengthen global relations by bridging cultures and communities.
Mrs. Bough shares that the MMB teachers absolutely loved receiving the 2016 LHS yearbook and The Loogootee Tribune. They were amazed by the students’ activities and the local newspaper’s highlights. Thanks to the Martin County Chamber of Commerce, the teachers have multiple informational brochures and an Indiana map for the MMB students to get to know Martin County. Mrs. Bough also gave several items representing the Amish community for the teachers to share with their students. All participating teachers look forward to imagining the possibilities for their students, their schools and communities.
In addition to her visit to Maestro Matías Bravo High School, Mrs. Bough attended EF’s High School Exchange Year’s International Exchange convention in southern Spain. Mrs. Bough traveled with EF regional coordinator, Toni Strong of Newburgh, Indiana from Madrid to the Costa del Sol region. Mrs. Bough and Shoals HIgh School Spanish teacher Erin Cage will travel with some of their students to much of the same area in June 2017. The teachers plan to coordinate a meeting with the MMB teachers and their students. The traveling Martin County students have the opportunity to receive three college credit hours for their week-long, educational tour where they will visit many historical sites, prepare an authentic Spanish meal, and learn how to dance the Flamenco.
As a Spanish teacher, Mrs. Bough strengthened her vocabulary and understanding of Castilian Spanish while learning about Spain's rich heritage influenced by the Romans, Moors, Christians, and the Jews. Mrs. Bough learned more about the Spanish language, history, and culture through well guided, daily excursions. The language immersion alone was better practice than any free or high-dollar class, conference or workshop. She relied on past experiences and survival skills to travel by taxis, busses, local trains, fast trains, and planes using Latin American Spanish in a Castilian Spanish-speaking world. This professional learning opportunity not only increased her skills and knowledge, but also has afforded her the ability to share even more with her students. Her students responded to daily cultural questions on Señora Bough´s trip blog. Mrs. Bough adds that she is immensely grateful for the opportunity to grow as an educator well as for the challenge to lead by experience. She firmly believes that “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)