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Two Dozen Teachers Travel from Uruguay to Observe U-46 Classes

Feb. 25, 2020

Twenty-four teachers from the South American country of Uruguay observed classroom instruction and culture during a week spent in six U-46 schools.

The visits, which were sponsored by the Fulbright program at Northern Illinois University (NIU) College of Education, aimed to provide the teachers with a look at the best methods of practice in bilingual programs. 

Laura Gomensoro and Zulina Saldamando were among the visiting teachers from Uruguayan Teacer Uruguay. They shadowed third grade classrooms at Channing Elementary School in Elgin during the week of Feb. 18-21. 

“One of the most interesting parts of my visit is seeing the services and resources available for students,” said Saldamando. “I am amazed with the special ed program, the occupational and speech therapies - these are things that are not readily available in Uruguay.” 

Other hosting schools include Horizon Elementary School in Hanover Park, Oakhill Elementary in Streamwood, Washington Elementary in Elgin, Abbott Middle in Elgin, and Tefft Middle in Streamwood.

Uruguayan Teacher The Uruguayan teachers also gave presentations on the culture and educational practices in their home country to teachers and students. Gomensoro and Saldamando demonstrated how to make mate, a traditional drink in South American countries. They showed photos from home, as well as examples of the white, gown-like clothing that students, teachers, secretaries, and principals wear while at public schools to make everyone feel unified. 

Professional Development at NIU was also a part of their visit. Topics covered included adjusting instruction for students with learning disabilities, social and emotional learning, children’s books, and U.S. language policy and graffiti.

“This has been an enriching experience,” said Gomensoro. “I have learned so much from this District - and I cannot wait to bring it back to my students.”