My Environmental Education Experience
One of our recent interns, Joe came and joined us for a month, assisting with our environmental education program. This is about his experience with us.
In my time working with Marine Conservation Costa Rica (MCCR) I have experienced growth and bonding, and learned exceedingly. Working in the Environmental Education internship, I have helped to organize lessons, learn new teaching skills, and about the importance and intricacies of conservation. Not to mention, I have hugely improved on my Spanish.
I had the unique opportunity to go into a primary school and teach in Spanish about marine conservation. While this sounded daunting to me at first, the experience was invaluable. Teaching gave me confidence and a better understanding of how to help people learn in a productive and educational way. It was great because not only was I teaching others, but I was also learning too. I went from knowing limited Spanish to far more competent very quickly and felt comfortable speaking, answering and understanding Spanish. I was also helped every step of the way by the fantastic team at MCCR who allowed me to feel optimistic in the face of a big task.
First things first…
First, my teaching at the school consisted of prep work. I created a powerpoint in English then in Spanish about my chosen topic for the children. After creating the powerpoint and speaker notes, I went over them a few times with the team to make sure I felt comfortable with the pronunciation and was ready to speak it to the kids. Jointly, I worked to prepare an activity for the children, to create a more fun and interactive setting. Finally, I was ready.
I went in and was greeted by the staff and set up my presentation. Once I was up there, all of my nerves suddenly vanished and my head cleared, I was prepared and excited now. I thoroughly enjoyed doing my presentation and was able to answer and understand the kids’ questions, which was neat. I proceeded smoothly to the activity in which we helped the kids paint their own sharks and then play a game using the sharks they had made.
An enjoyable experience
The children seemed to really enjoy the whole day which made it even more of a fulfilling experience. I also had the fantastic opportunity to help teach about coral conservation and fragmentation to an older group of teenagers at the event. This involved speaking to multiple different groups about the complexities of coral reefs and helping with hands-on activities on fragmenting coral to help replant the reefs. This not only granted further confidence but really helped to teach me about the work people do for conservation, the importance of it and the intricacies of the marine fauna we are trying to protect. On top of all of this, there are other activities all interns and supporters can participate in.
MCCR often organizes group activities that provide unforgettable experiences, such as a trip to the mangroves to see crocodiles. The fantastic team, other interns and general positive and friendly people around it all means super fun group trips to beautiful waterfalls, beaches or other fun activities such as football are a commonplace to why I always felt involved and like my time was being spent well, making the most, of the beautiful country of Costa Rica and Quepos.