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By David Chamorro Pereira
Sep 18th, 2023

In the times where we are just a click away from anywhere in the world, joint ventures among schools are becoming harder and harder. The pandemic seems as if it was a portal for many opportunities. Sadly, this portal seems to be definitely closed and schools have returned once again within their walls.

Since I started working in Colegio San Ignacio Alonso Ovalle in Santiago de Chile I have seen many opportunities around me. I invited my colleagues to start a new way to boost connection with the English Language through a fun activity like a Spelling Bee. Great success was both the preparation and the thrill of preparing for the final live contest with 120 boys every 60 minutes to cover the three levels involved in the activity. Fun activity but just for us.

The pandemic challenged our English department in such a way that we devised an online international SPELLING BEE contest with our partner school Liceo Javier from Guatemala City taking advantage that they were always with us fostering activities together to survive in the new online mode in the first year of the pandemic.

The activity was a great success! English teachers from Chile and Guatemala got together, helped each other, and found professional and personal support thousands of miles away from each other.

This year, 2023, everything related to school life has definitely returned back to normality. But bonds between schools and teachers are difficult to break.  Kids on both sides of the Americas have asked to continue with this Online SPELLING BEE Workshop and Contest because undoubtedly young children and teachers like the idea of belonging to a greater entity such as the Jesuit school world. Other partners have joined such as Colegio Santo Inacio from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and Colegio San Mateo de Osorno in Chile.

For 3 weeks, teachers from 4 schools and 70 students have had the chance to interact and feel that this World of Jesuit Schools is real. All of us are looking forward to more opportunities like this!

Many thanks to Luciana Ache from Colegio Santo Inacio in Rio de Janeiro,
also to the teachers from Colegio San Mateo in Chile;
to Marlene Fajardo and her team from Liceo Javier in Ciudad de Guatemala;
to Gabi from Colegio San Luis in Antofagasta Chile,
and to Erik, Alvaro, Moira from my school Colegio San Ignacio Alonso Ovalle in Santiago de Chile.

It is thanks to their collaboration that on Wednesday 26th of August, 75 students from 3 different countries and 6 teachers participated in the first workshop.

Check out the short video clips of students saying hello to their peers and sharing their joy on the SPELLING BEE contest: We love the Spelling Bee! – FlipGrid