• Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • gmail_23343

This site was optimized for viewing on desktop & mobile devices.  Some photos may be cut short on the margins when viewed on tablet devices.

Mayatan Teacher Alumni Experience Testimonials

Over the course of our 25 year history, Mayatan has been fortunate enough to establish excellent relationships with over 200 non-Honduran teachers.

 

In the fall of 2016 we spoke with some of these previous Mayatan teachers to check in and see what they're up to today and how their experience at Mayatan helped to further their teaching and professional careers. Here are some of their responses!

Mayatan teachers had experience working as (_____) before coming to Copan

  • Teachers (at all levels and grades)

  • Students

  • Student-teachers

  • Americorps, Teach for America, Peacecorps, and/or international-NGO volunteers

  • Management or leadership positions in various industries

  • Archeologists

  • Firefighters

Former Mayatan teachers are currently working as (_____)

  • Teachers (at all levels, in many different types of programs)

  • Administrators in Education

  • Program Managers and Instructors

  • Software Development Managers

  • Development & Operations managers

  • Directors of Operations

  • Attorneys

  • Education and Developmental Researchers

  • Paralegal / law students

  • Non-profit coordinators

  • Education consultants

  • Real Estate Agents

  • Retired

  • Family Nurse Practitioners

  • Network Engineers

  • Videographers

  • Firefighters

In what way did your experience at Mayatan help prepare you to become a better teacher?

  • Mayatan gave me an opportunity to explore different teaching styles as a new teacher, and the freedom to structure my classroom accordingly. Having the freedom to design my own lessons and classroom structure allowed me to begin exploring experiential learning techniques that would eventually become the core of my personal teaching philosophy.

  • It gave me exposure to ELLs and the struggle to teach content and language simultaneously. It made me want to get a Masters in TESOL.

  • Working at Mayatan opened my eyes. I learned how to become self-sufficient, to trust my gut, and to know my students. I was able to put culturally and linguistically responsive theory into practice for the first time, on my own. Mayatan taught me to be flexible; resources may not always be available! Due to this, I learned how to trust my creativity as an educator.

  • It gave me a good lesson in empathy; understanding another person's point of view and taking that into consideration when preparing lesson plans and teaching initiatives.

  • It was my first experience teaching, and I learned a lot through the freedom to experiment as well observe and receive feedback from other more seasoned teachers.

  • I hated teaching when I was at university. Mayatan took a chance on me because I wasn't teaching at the time but doing something totally different. My first year at Mayatan, I still didn't enjoy most days, but I wasn't ready to go home. Sometime during my second year, I started to really like my job and enjoy seeing the progress my kids were making. I gained a lot of great experience and also a big confidence boost during my time at Mayatan.

  • It was a great opportunity to have complete creative control as a teacher. I learned a lot about developing curriculum and lesson units in addition to learning how to do the day to day of teaching. I had a lot of opportunity to experiment with innovative curriculum ideas. It was also helpful for returning to New York City, where the ESL teaching experience was very useful.

  • Experiencing another culture.

  • In so many ways, organization, curriculum development, classroom management.

  • I learned to be creative with lesson planning.

  • Understanding how to make kids engage short to long term memory by teaching Subjects in a fun environment (BC no one wants to learn in hot conditions when its not fun) with students using themselves(WBT) or DIY manipulations that was constructed as a class.

  • I was forced to be more creative with fewer resources.

  • Additional experience teaching abroad and the unique challenges that it presents.

  • I have a greater understanding of working with English Language Learners.

  • I learned how to be creative with the resources available, and as a relatively new teacher, I had a chance to work on all aspects of teaching: classroom management, lesson planning, etc.

  • It gave me experience in a bilingual setting, it helped me understand the curriculum development process, I got to practice creativity and innovation in the classroom.

  • I was able to troubleshoot teaching strategies, experiment with lesson plans and creativity, and not have to worry about meeting county or state standards/risk my job over varying from the "script."

  • Taught me not all people learn the same way I do and it takes creative and varied approaches to reach everyone.

  • It showed that all you need to teach well is a head full of content knowledge and students who are willing to learn.

  • The teacher instruction and positive atmosphere allowed for an amazing place to cultivate teaching skills.

  • Getting back in the classroom with younger students is a good challenge.

In what way did your experience at Mayatan help prepare you for future professional endeavors?

  • After one year teaching at Mayatan, I felt exponentially more confident in my ability to perform as the primary leader of a classroom, and I felt much more comfortable identifying my personal teaching style, as well as approaches to facilitation that I found to be most effective with elementary students. I also had the added experience of feeling comfortable navigating a culturally complex professional situation: I was constantly trying to balance my role as a teacher with my status as a foreigner who wanted to respect the cultural context in.

  • It gave me the necessary experience to teach ESL and bilingual education.

  • It took me out of my comfort zone and taught me the ability to be adaptive and resilient in new situations. I received a broad perspective which helps me understand where other people are coming from, ultimately helping to understand people's learning methods.

  • Mayatan was an incredible first teaching experience. It was, in no way, an easy job. However, every challenge made me a stronger, more confident educator and because of these trials and triumphs, I felt far better prepared to take on problems throughout the American education system.

  • Got to work with and learn from people from different backgrounds, developed and learned importance of interpersonal skills.

  • Through my time at Mayatan, I learned I was deeply interested in international education.

  • It helped me to be more culturally aware and knowledgeable.

  • I got a lot of experience and in a school with few resources (which made me more competent to handle future situations), it gave me confidence, and eventually gave me a real passion for teaching.

  • Helped me to understand learning styles.

  • Opportunity to live abroad, learn Spanish, experience a different culture.

  • As an international experience, it provided valuable perspective that has been with me in everything I do.

  • Flexibility. When impromptu band practice is called or the power goes out, you have to think on your feet. Mayatan helped me get used to that, and it has helped me ever since.

  • Experiencing another culture and greatly improving my Spanish

  • I learned to be flexible, empathetic, and humble.

  • My time in Honduras improved my Spanish (which I use in my current position), exposed me to different culture, experiences, and increased my understanding and empathy.

  • It took dedication, creativity and hard work.

  • I think back on my connection with kids and with nature and I miss those days.

  • I gained leadership skills that are aiding me in my current position as team lead.

  • Solidifying my Spanish language skills was important.

  • I did a lot of work designing my own curriculum, which has deepened my knowledge of effective teaching.

  • Besides the gain in teaching experience at Mayatan, living in Copan also helped me to become fluent in Spanish which helped me get hired in a dual language program.

  • My experience in Central America led me to my research area and helped me understand both sides of the immigrant experience, which is my area of research.

  • I have a much greater awareness of working inter-culturally.

  • I continue to work very closely with a Central American immigrant population and although I cannot understand what got them here, I do feel like I have a broader understanding of where they came from.

  • Kinda hurt it in a way. Taught in Honduras with some truly great kids who valued their education. Moved back to the US with classes full of less grateful students who could care less. Everyday I spent teaching in the US I wished I was back in Honduras.

  • Having any international experience as a foreigner sharpens any professional skill! Mayatan in particular allows its teachers to experiment with teaching styles while holding them to a high standard.

Would you recommend teaching at Mayatan to a young, aspiring teacher or an experienced teacher looking for a transition?

  • Yes, Mayatan offered me room to grow professionally while being supported by a very warm community of people.

  • Definitely! If you are ready to teach, then this is such a refreshing and challenging experience.

  • Yes, teaching people outside of your own culture gives you broader perspective which will ultimately help all of your future endeavors. Having this experience gives you a competitive edge AND it is a blast!

  • Would be a unique, interesting, and challenging opportunity for either.

  • Depending on the age, expectations, and experience of the teacher. It is a great job for young adults looking for an adventure between college and career as well as for older teachers on the tail end of their career.

  • Yes, definitely. I would be more likely to recommend Mayatan to a younger and aspiring teacher.

  • Yes, if they are somewhat financially secure.

  • YES!! I loved the Honduran and US staff plus the students and community.

  • Yes, as long as that person didn't need much money for a year or two.

  • Definitely.

  • Yes. I would recommend it, because the administration took care of us well and treated us well. Copan is also a charming town and allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture when you want and go get pizza when you don't. Mayatan's small class sizes and DIY mentality was refreshing for me, too.

  • Yes, it was an amazing experience.

  • I would recommend Mayatan to someone new to the profession looking to try it out.

  • If I did not suggest Mayatan, it would be doing that teacher a dishonor. I ONLY recommend Mayatan to ANY inspiring PERSON, and especially teachers.

  • I would! It was definitely challenging, teaching always is, but I learned a lot, made wonderful friends, and had a pretty life-changing year.

  • Of course I would highly recommend MBS to all educators. The whole atmosphere of the school that has been created by Nora, Norma, and Marisol is one of caring and giving. I, like so many of the students, found myself liking to be on campus and enjoying Mondays! Plus, teachers have a greater opportunity to try new methods while sharing a common bond with their fellow teachers.

  • I believe this opportunity is best for experienced teachers. First year teachers may struggle with the flexibility required when teaching abroad, along with the need to be independent both professionally and personally.

  • I would recommend teaching at Mayatan to both types of teachers! I came as a young, newly licensed but inexperienced teacher. Mayatan presents (good) challenges for both types of teacher - for someone who hasn't been trained, they have to figure out how teaching works! For an experienced teacher, they have to transition to a different system, less resources, etc. Although things have probably changed since I was last there!

  • Yes, it was a good experience.

  • Yes, it is a great community and a wonderful program.

  • Yes, I definitely would. The school did a great job welcoming me into the school community.

  • I would definitely recommend Mayatan to a young, aspiring teacher. My time there was a great building block for future teaching opportunities. However, teaching at Mayatan is not for everyone. It is for those who are willing to go the extra mile, to use student-centered practices, and to know their students and their surrounding culture.

  • Yes! Mayatan is an incredible school and it is well-established in the community. Working at a school that the community respects and loves provides an extra sense of security and safety, knowing that the community is looking out for you. The students and parents love their teachers! It may be your only chance to get a glimpse of "celebrity" life... working at Mayatan you quickly become a household name and will hear "Miss!" Shouted everywhere you go! ;)

  • I would recommend it to an experienced teacher looking for transition. An aspiring teacher may compare future teaching positions to the Mayatan and expect something that just isn't possible in most American school districts.

  • For aspiring teachers this is a must. Spend two years in a small town, learn the language and enjoy the surrounding areas. It is a beautiful place to live and a great place to develop teaching skills and gain experience. For experienced teachers this is an excellent place to use teaching methods that are erroneously rejected state-side.

  • Yes & several of my students have gone on to teach at Mayatan.

What did you enjoy most about your experience as a "foreign" teacher living and working abroad in Copan Ruinas, Honduras?

  • The opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture, practice Spanish, and explore incredible places.

  • Interacting with the locals and learning the culture.

  • Got a good feel of small town life.

  • I enjoyed how friendly Copan was and how easy it was to form relationships and find opportunities for volunteer work, adventure, and travel.

  • Experiencing their culture.

  • I loved living in a warm and embracing culture. Learning Spanish was a huge plus as it was both fun and challenging! I met a lot of wonderful people, both expat teachers and locals, who truly made my time there worthwhile. I started to love teaching, and I especially loved my kids.

  • I loved learning about and feeling a part of the culture of Copan. I loved knowing that I was more than a tourist in the town, that I was here to help make it an even better place for my students and families.

  • Culture, language, friendships.

  • The food...

  • Being a part of the community (rather than just a tourist).

  • How warm and welcoming the community was, as well as the ability to travel to new places almost every weekend.

  • The relationships I built with the students, teachers, and community.

  • Uniting with not only the other 'foreign' teachers, but especially with the 'local' teachers. When someone like Ms. Patty invites you to tea time, it would be like an invite from the President him/herself. Time spent with ALL 'locals' helped me understand the current events in the school/town/country more and HOW that affects the students and HOW to educate Mayatan students. If it wasn't for Mr. Francisco or Ms. Patty- I'm POSITIVE I would not have known how to keep my class as attentive, QUIET, and efficient as they did/do. THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH! You made 2012 4th G. class the smartest class in Mayatan!

  • I learned a lot of Spanish.

  • Meeting both the people/children of Copan and also living with and getting to know the other foreign teachers really well.

  • I loved living in and experiencing another culture, improving my Spanish, and supporting kids from all different socioeconomic backgrounds.

  • The experience was rich in lots of ways. New people, places, culture, food.

  • Copan is a small town and that limits one's cultural experiences, it is rich in history, very friendly, safe, and walkable. The cost of living is reasonable, housing is adequate, and transportation inexpensive. Also, Nora did many things for the teachers and I to enhance our experience in Honduras.

  • I loved living in Copan and being a part of the community there.

  • Getting to know the culture and the language.

  • I fell in love with Copan within the first few weeks of my first year teaching at Mayatan. I loved the town, the community, the people, the friendships I made ...

  • Living with a family and learning about the culture and community in Copan. Also the opportunity to travel throughout Central America was amazing.

  • Building lasting relationships and connections.

  • It's a beautiful community, great opportunities to travel and the kids taught me so much.

  • Working with students and parents who were truly committed and interested in their education.

  • I enjoyed the community. It was an excellent place to live and an even better place to get to know. I miss it every day!

  • Cultural immersion!