Sunday, April 05, 2015

Service Learning Trip to Dominican Republic

      March of 2015 was a special month for my students and I, as we traveled to Dominican Republic on a Service Learning trip.  This was the second service learning trip that I organized for Greenbrier Academy students and it felt equally as successful as the 2014 trip to Peru.
     During our nine day trip, we visited various cities and towns within the DR.  We completed three service projects: planting pine trees at an environmental university; teaching English at a village elementary school; and repairing trails in a remote village.  In addition to the service portion of the trip, we were able to spend time on the beach learning to surf.
     Being a lead tour director on these trips has allowed my students an authentic experience to speak Spanish and contribute to our world in a meaningful way.  They returned back from the Dominican Republic inspired to make a difference.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

GBA Spanish class travels on a Service Learning Trip to Peru

I took 8 students and four parents on a journey through Lima and Machu Picchu.  The highlights from this trip include two days of meaningful service and insightful activities in the Sacred Valley. While taking in the breathtaking sights and sounds from atop the mighty Andes, we volunteered at a local school, participated in local agricultural projects and discovered the ancient traditional weaving techniques used to this day from community members.
Here is a brief article that I wrote for the Greenbrier Academy for Girls newsletter in April 2014:

Dear Parents,

Recently some of our girls were able to take a trip to Peru. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun. I am completely satisfied with the trip. The students took advantage of every opportunity to connect with Peruvians from distinct regions, from the indigenous Quechuan culture to the city surfers. I asked the girls to reflect on their experience, and Bella said:

"This trip definitely gave me more insight into the lives of people in other countries. It was fascinating to see how some parts of the country were pretty similar to ours (the more urban areas), while the villages and country sides seemed almost like a different planet. It changed my perspective of our culture and how I should lead my life to be more content. While a lot of the trip was simply fun, the overall experience was more than just fun, it was inspiring. I would absolutely recommend for other students to go."

I wouldn't change a thing if asked to go again!!


Michele McNickle, Spanish Teacher

Friday, June 28, 2013

First Teaching Job: San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico

   My first teaching job in 2001. I had recently graduated from WVU 
    and decided to teach ESL in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Since then, I
 have taught in middle schools, bilingual schools, high schools,
 universities, private schools, online and therapeutic boarding

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Being an Online ESL teacher

Three years have passed since I first made the professional transition from being a teacher in a traditional classroom to one online. The experience that I have gained from these years is priceless, as I have learned about the pros and cons of each situation.

The PROS...
Being an online ESL teacher has provided more opportunities to reach very motivated learners. These students make great economic and personal sacrifices because they are interested in improving themselves by learning another language. These students are highly intellectual and usually provide engaging conversations. I feel priviledged to have taught students in over twenty-five different countries.

The CONS...
Many online schools are not able to pay teachers a salary that is typical for educators. At times, I was earning less than when I worked at an ice cream parlor as a waitress! For that reason, I preferred teaching independently from any schools using Skype.

That being said, I would like to congratulate the online language company called TELLMEMORE for being the most interesting place to work at while being an online ESL Teacher. My bosses trained me very well and were always available to answer questions. The students came well-prepared for our classes and were motivated to speak about each topic. Even the other online teachers that I met while training together were friendly and eager to collaborate on ideas.

Here is a small video clip where I was featured as an online ESL teacher at TELLMEMORE: appear in the second video clip)