Mayatan Foundation and Bilingual School Established 1991

Meet the Mayatan Staff

We like to share lots of news about Mayatan students on our webpage -- it's about time you got to know some of their teachers! The enthusiasm and dedication of our foreign and Honduran teaching staff are a big part of what makes the Mayatan community so special. Below, you'll find short interviews with three of our foreign teachers and one of our Honduran teachers.

First, some background about our staff: Mayatan currently hosts 18 foreign teachers from the United States, Canada, and Australia, who deliver classes alongside 14 Honduran teachers. Having certified, native English-speaking teachers on our staff sets us apart from other 'bilingual' schools that host few, if any, native speakers. Thank you to all the teachers, administrators, and maintenance personnel who make Mayatan a wonderful learning environment for our students!

Our 2012-13 Mayatan Staff!

Our 2012-13 Mayatan Staff!

 

Mayatan has just begun accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year. Visit our Teaching at Mayatan page if you're interested in joining our team next year.

MarinMarin Jackson

Marin joined our staff as a Second grade teacher for the 2011-12 school year, and then decided to extend her stay for an additional year.

What were you doing prior to coming to Mayatan?

I had graduated with a Masters degree in ESOL teaching, with a specialty in Elementary Education, and spent a year working close to home before I decided to make the leap abroad.

Why did you choose to teach at Mayatan?

I had been planning to teach abroad, so I applied to quite a few schools, but I ended up choosing Mayatan because it seemed like it had a strong, accepting community and I liked the idea of the scholarship program.

What do you like most about teaching here?

I really like the fact that Copan is a small community -- walking down the street you run into your students and their parents all the time. It makes it a lot easier to get to know your students and to be more invested in their education. I feel like I have the opportunity to make a big impact in their lives.

AndrewAndrew Gordon

Andrew arrived at Mayatan this year as our school's first Ahtletic Director, leading PE classes and our sports teams' participation in local and national tournaments. He also teaches Art History.

What were you doing before you came to Mayatan?

I had just graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South where I studied Religion and Spanish, and I was working at a summer camp close to home. I decided that I wanted to live and work in Latin America, and Mayatan's 1-year teaching commitment seemed like a good fit for me.

What surprised you most about teaching here?

I was surprised by how hard it is to teach well, how long the days are, and how consuming the job becomes. Wake up, give classes, practice after school with the sports teams, go home and write lesson plans -- it's exhausting.

How would you describe the experience to a friend?

I just wrote a friend back home: "My life here is introspective, difficult, awesome, and exactly what I need right now."

Any favorite moments so far?

My favorite day of the each week is Saturday, when a few other teachers and I hike up to give tutoring to kids from La Pintada [a small village outside of Copan Ruinas]. It's great to help our own students from La Pintada, while also getting to know the other kids in the village.

KeylaKeyla Valverth

Keyla is a Honduran teacher from Copan Ruinas who has been at Mayatan for nine years. She teachers Literature (Spanish) and Civic Education to middle and high school classes. [Interview translated from Spanish]

What were you doing before you came to Mayatan?

I was giving private tutoring and therapy to kids with special needs. When I had the chance to come work at Mayatan, I jumped at the opportunity, because I knew it was a good teaching position and a good place to work.

What are your favorite things about the school?

The quality of the teaching that occurs here makes Mayatan very unique. I also enjoy the opportunity the cultural exchange between the Honduran and foreign teachers. Being able to both teach and learn from the students of all different ages is another great thing about the school.

Did anything surprise you when you first started teaching here?

I was surprised by the difference between teaching small classes and teaching large classes. I taught briefly at a public school in Honduras and I had over 40 children in my classroom. Mayatan keeps class sizes smaller, and it was really amazing how much easier that made it to teach.

DianeDiane Howard

Diane came to Mayatan this school year to teach 5th grade science and mathematics. Before coming to Mayatan, Diane taught at bilingual schools in Gracias and Comayagua, Honduras.

Why did you decide to come to Mayatan?

I had heard a lot of good things about Mayatan from other teachers in Honduras, so I visited the school over break. I found the staff to be very friendly -- and the campus was beautiful -- so I decided to go for it.

What do you like most about teaching here?

The administration has been very supportive, and when they take care of all the little things it really frees me up to focus on my teaching. I also enjoy the fact that we have a diverse group of students -- in my classroom I have kids from families that are very well-off, and kids from poor villages outside of Copan. It gives me a better perspective in and out of the classroom.

How would you describe teaching here to a friend back home?

Expect the unexpected, but many of the surprises are pleasant ones!

Any plans for next year?

I'm planning to stay another year here at Mayatan.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I brought my 15 year old daughter, Elena, with me to Copan Ruinas. She's enrolled in the 10th grade at Mayatan and I've been happy with the quality of education that she's getting here. That has been very important for me.

Thank you to Marin, Andrew, Keyla, and Diane for sharing your thoughts with us. Good luck with the rest of the school year!

 

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2 Responses »

  1. We all appreciate what these teachers are doing for our children at Mayatan. It is a great thing to be able to have high quality education from well prepared teachers. Please keep up the great work, and spread the word among your friends about your experience in Copan.

    Sincerely,

    Adalberto Hernandez Vega
    Father of 2 students

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