I gave my ESL students a writing exercise, write about “your goals and dreams”. This is from a 12 year old girl, unedited:
“When I was 6 years old my goals was be the president of Peru to change Peru, because Peru in the past was horrible and destroyed by other presidents…”
And a few other excerpts:
“Now I’m 12 years old… I plan to collect a lot of money to construct a big house … I plan to buy other house to give to my parents, because they did anything to me.”
Maybe I’m being sentimental because we’re getting ready to have our own baby soon, but I thought that was worth sharing.
I finally got around to putting some content on the new ICPNA teachers’ blog. Since I’ve had good luck using this blog in my classes our academic director and I decided to start a blog for use by the ICPNA teachers as a group. Here are the links:
ESL teaching is my “fun job” here in Peru, I’m by no means an expert in the field. So please, visit the blog and contribute your ideas!
My ESL students at ICPNA in front of the Qoricancha in Cusco, Peru
This weekend during our staff meeting at ICPNA my boss had to devote an entire slide in her presentation to the various rules and policies I tend to play fast and loose with, such as no jeans or sneakers allowed, no food in the classrooms, etc. While she was very kind not to mention me by name, the fact that I’m the only teacher who wears jeans and sneakers 4 days a week made it rather obvious who the culprit was…
To be fair, ICPNA, which is associated with the US embassy in Lima, is an excellent place to work. There’s a friendly atmosphere, a great group of teachers and my boss is always receptive of our ideas and suggestions.
I love all things Peruvian and I’m sure there are many great leaders and great places to work in Peru. However, I’m not naive to the poverty and needs of many people here, and I believe Peruvian corporate culture is a major reason why many in Peru live in poverty or have a miserable work experience:
- Employees are not regarded as a valuable asset to the business and leadership in many places is totalitarian. As a result, employee participation and individual accountability is very limited, as is innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Discrimination on the basis of age or sex is commonplace, as is lack of opportunity for people with disabilities. Just look through any employment classifieds.
- Lack of employee development. Many of my students are not allowed a flexible work schedule to attend class, even though they are learning a skill which is absolutely vital to any business here in Cusco.
- Lack of environmental awareness and occupational safety in some industries. Read Corey Laplante’s blog about the La Oroya case.
- Old fashioned and petty rules, such as dress codes, which don’t add any value to the business. Even GE and IBM, some of the most conservative companies in the US, did away with dress codes 30 years ago. Their thinking was employees should have something more productive to do than look at the pants or shoes their coworkers are wearing.
- No long term vision or leadership. While India became the global IT hub and Asia became the world’s manufacturing base Peruvian middle managers were mired in bureaucracy – not to mention, busy worrying about their employees jeans or sneakers! Read this blog entry about out-of-touch leadership.
Class exercise for ICPNA I-12:
So what do you think, agree or disagree? What are the high-level values businesses in Peru should have today to be successful and improve the way of life in Peru? Read about the culture and values at some successful companies such as SAS, Southwest Airlines or GE – where I spent nearly 5 years.
Speak your mind, what are your thoughts or comments?
This is the writing exercise for AV2 9:05 at Icpna Cusco.
The Cusco area has a rich history with many great traditions, myths and legends. In the comments to this post, write a story about any of the legends or traditions in our area or Peru in general. This can be a well known story (e.g. origin of Cusco, Señor de Huanca, etc) or a story only you know (e.g. someone in your family who believes they saw a ghost). I especially like the less well known stories, the kind that a typical tourist would not hear about.
Make it interesting and entertaining. Above all, use your own words!!! Everyone in the class writes one story, but you get extra points for commenting on your classmates entries (or any other entries on this blog).
Since I’m teaching about business in my current class at ICPNA, I decided to start a class project to open a coffee shop on the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. We already have a McDonalds in Cusco and will soon have a Starbucks, so let’s give them some competition.
Our fictional business will be a fancy coffee shop with yummie breakfast, snacks, etc. We will have wireless internet, friendly service and a hip atmosphere.
Here’s what I need from my team, that is, the class:
- Ideas for names.
- Ideas on how to set the place up (decorations, themes, uniforms, ….)
- What kind of things we will sell.
- Legal stuff: how to set up a legal entity (EIRL, SA).
- Financial plan and accounting policies. Let’s not get in trouble with SUNAT or my uncle Alan Garcia.
- Marketing plan.
- A good location in anywhere in beautiful downtown Cusco Peru.
- Employees, employee manuals, policies, procedures, …
- Ideas on how to reward our employees.
- Policies / ideas to prevent theft from customers and employees.
- Suppliers: where to get good food, coffee, drinks, ice cream,…. Also furnishings and furniture to open our place.
- Lobbyist to have lunch with the mayor and governor of Cusco once a month.
- Business plan.
- Exit strategy, meaning, what to do if our business doesn’t work out.
- Any other advice or items I’ve overlooked.
Write at least 2 or 3 comments before the end of our class next Friday 9/26!!!! Any thoughts and ideas are welcome, explain/justify your ideas.
My I-12 class at ICPNA
I have a “fun job” teaching English at the ICPNA here in Cusco. We had some workshops about using music in the classroom last week… The workshops were really good and the message was as long as there’s educational value the teacher (that’s me) gets to choose the music!!! So I went to the local mall known as “Molino” to buy some pirated CDs (you can’t buy the real thing here in Cusco) and now the ICPNA will never be the same again!!! I think it’s about time Peru got introduced to Lynnyrd Skynnyrd and Led Zeppelin.
Since I’m having a lot of fun teaching and we’re starting to do really good with my website business, I thought it would be fitting here to use this clip from my favorite movie of all time: I think we’re just around the corner from “the light of day”.
BTW, teacher Amparo (my lovely boss), if you’re reading this I was just kidding about that Led Zeppelin thing. We’re only using Neil Young and Paul Simon 😉
I have a part-time gig teaching English at the ICPNA here in Cusco. My students are really great and it’s been a lot of fun so far. I try to use real life examples while I teach, and because Cusco is such a popular travel destination I often refer to some of the tourist places downtown.
My favorite reference is Mama Africa, a popular disco at the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru. So here’s a picture of Patricia and I at Mama Africa!