Michael Driscoll at the Villa Soleada Bilingual School
Michael Driscoll was an active member of Students Helping Honduras during his time at Virginia Tech, helping build several schools in El Progreso. During his senior year, he served as the Chapter President on campus.
Upon graduation, as his classmates were signing contracts to work at high paying corporate desk jobs, Mike took a different path. He became a middle school teacher in a low-income neighborhood in Miami through Teach for America.
After serving TFA for two years, Mike flew down to Honduras to work for the Villa Soleada Bilingual School as a 4th grade teacher.
In this episode, Mike talks about his experience with TFA in Miami and what his days are like now living and working in Honduras.
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Every week Michael teaches a positive character trait. His most recent was grit.
Jose “Joche” was the recipient of the Grit Award!
Show notes & summary
- “The idea of sitting in a desk for eight hours everyday wasn’t appealing to me.”
- “Some days I felt like… what am I getting myself into!?”
- “There were days I did not want to get out of bed.”
- A day in the life of Michael
- The meal plan of a typical teacher at Villa Soleada Bilingual School
- What the gym in El Progreso is like
- Michael compares the teacher training process between Teach for America and Villa Soleada Bilingual School
- The biggest difference that Michael has seen between schools in the US and in Honduras: unexpectedness
- Many teachers at his school in the US transferred out to other schools due to their unsatisfactory experiences
- His goal this year is to help his students reach 80-100% proficiency in grade level math and 1.5 years growth in reading levels.
- Mike is working on a CRM (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) program in his science class
- Mike is collecting data and tracking the progress of his students
- Each week Mike has been highlighting a specific character trait with his class. This was inspired by the KIPP schools. This past week he highlighted grit.
- “Grit is about never giving up. It’s trying your hardest. And doing your best.”
- Something has been keeping Michael awake at night, worried.
- What the first day of school was like for Mike, working for Teach for American and then at the Villa Soleada Bilingual School
- On the first day in Miami, one girl says to him, “Middle School fucking sucks!!!” That inspired him to make sure nobody finishes the year with that mindset.
- “This is when I figured out what it meant to have high blood pressure.”
- “My students are like my cup of coffee in the morning.”
- His biggest challenges in Miami were to get kids to listen to him, behavioral management, low test scores
- What his weekends are like in Honduras (salsa lessons, tutoring friends in English, gym, night out in town)
- Mike’s favorite dance club in El Progreso is Zona 504. They have air conditioning!
- He encourages people interested in working at Villa Soleada Bilingual School to come visit the program first for a short period of time
- Don’t miss Mike’s moving shoutout, Academy-awards style.