Panamanian exchange MEDUCA 10 students visit area schools

Cabrini Rudnicki, Co-News Editor

International Engagement’s MEDUCA 10 students recently visited local schools for teaching training.

The students have had in total eight school visits, including Kistler, Heights Murray, GAR, and Graham Academy. At these visits, the students have done observations and teaching exercises.

The students have visited the Graham Academy, a special education school in Luzerne, three times so far. This time, the students were split up so one group went to the elementary/middle school and the other went to the high school. For their next visit, the students will switch.

Dr. Meghan Feliciani, MEDUCA instructor, spoke about the purpose of these trips.

“For the MEDUCA students, I hope that they see the range of the schools in the Wilkes-Barre area,” she explained. “We go to our typical public school, to the Graham Academy, which is so specialized. We want them to know that all schools look different, and so they can see different strategies and methodologies that the teachers use.”

According to Feliciani, the MEDUCA students are taught things like lesson plans and teaching strategies before visiting schools.

The Graham Academy had a specialized lesson of the traditional Panamanian dance called tamborito.

Courtesy of Lindsay Dragon
From left to right: Marisel Franco Gonzalez, Sathya Casasola Arcia, Cathur Salomon, and Luricel Garcia Castrellon taught students traditional Panamanian dances.

“Seeing our Panamanians realize that they can do it and gain the confidence to teach a student with autism a Panamanian dance with their limited English,” said Feliciani. “Language doesn’t matter when you have dance.”

MEDUCA is a program with the International Engagement Office of Wilkes University that brings public school teachers from Panama.

Gabriel Rivera, MEDUCA student, spoke about his experience teaching at the school.

“It was an incredible experience since we taught students with different behaviors a typical dance from Panama,” he said. “Another of the things that I personally love was seeing the emotion and smiles transmitted by the children during the activity.”

Dayanna Sandoval, another MEDUCA student, felt that the experience was “amazing.”

“When we saw all the guys dancing and having fun at the same time, I felt proud of my roots,” said Sandoval. “It shows that nothing is impossible. If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Editor’s Note: Co-News Editor Maddie Davis works for the International Engagement Office as a student aide.