Mid-Michigan immersionCMU and Mount Pleasant welcome nine Mexican ninth graders into two-week program
In what almost seems like a reverse commute, nine students and two teachers from Oaxaca, Mexico
arrived in Mount Pleasant on April 13 for a two-week immersion program. Sponsored by the Department of Teacher Education Professional Development and the Dean's Office, the students are staying with host families and learning in local schools, practicing their English speaking skills and exploring Michigan.
Since 2006, Norma Bailey, professor of middle level education
, has taken 64 CMU students down to do their pre-student teaching field experience at Colegio LaSalle, a K-9 bilingual school in Oaxaca, Mexico. Another dozen will make the trek this summer.
"When their school director asked me last year if some of their ninth graders could come to Mount Pleasant for a cultural immersion experience, I jumped at the chance," said Bailey, who was inducted into the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Hall of Fame
Six of the nine students are taking classes at Mount Pleasant High School and three are at West Intermediate School. While here, they will give presentations to the high school and middle school Spanish classes on both their hometown and bilingual school. On their first Saturday in Michigan, the students traveled north across the Mackinaw Bridge and, thanks to warmer weather, had a chance to dip their toes into the waters of Lake Michigan.
As a proactive member of the middle school community for 42 years as a teacher, professor and consultant, Bailey has witnessed firsthand the eye-opening, life-changing moments of future teachers who experience Oaxaca. She's hoping the Mexican visitors to Michigan will walk away equally inspired.