I can hardly believe that we've been in Belize for over five weeks and are about to head home on Saturday! This was our last week in the schools, and it was so nice to get back after being away for two weeks for Easter break. On Monday, it was one of my student's birthday, so during lunch we enjoyed birthday cake and pizza, provided by her family. We also found out Monday that Labor Day in Belize is today, so the school will be closed tomorrow, making today our last day! To celebrate, my class spent our afternoon after lunch at the beach! It was very fun way to end my time with them. We've been told we have a very important meeting tomorrow at Isla Bonita, even though it's a holiday...I think there might be cake involved ;) I'm feeling very grateful to have had a great experience at the school here.
Tuesday the special education teachers traveled to Belize City to visit Stella Maris and the Inspiration Center. Stella Maris is a school for students with special needs, including learning disabilities, Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, and autism. The atmosphere there is extremely positive and you can just feel the love and compassion that every teacher has for the students. We were able to play and hang out with the students for a few minutes during their morning break. It was an awesome experience and truly reaffirmed my love for Special Education! I can't wait to return home and start teaching in my own classroom!
After visiting Stella Maris and getting lunch, we visited the Inspiration Center which provides therapies to children with special needs. It is newly opened, but it was a very nice facility and the staff seemed very excited about being able to provide medical exams, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and multi-sensory therapy to those that need it. In the future they hope to expand to provide other services as well!
Something that has surprised me about myself on this trip is that I have really enjoyed blogging! I've never had a blog before, but I've had so much fun keeping up with everything I'm doing in Belize through blogging. Although writing blog posts is part of an assignment, it has been much more to me than that. It has been a way for me to communicate with my friends and family back home, and let them know what I've been up to! I plan to incorporate a blog into my future teaching so that my students and parents can keep up with what we're doing in my classroom!