Elizabeth V Roach Blog

Hello and Welcome. My name is Elizabeth. I have served children in Bolivia, Peru, Panama and the United States. A graduate of Universidad Santa Maria in Arequipa, Peru, I taught on many levels: pre-school to adult Ed; ESL and Biology/Chemistry, but my favorite is still First Grade. Today, I write for children, and do author visits to schools by SKYPE. Thank you for visiting.
© 2013 Elizabeth V Roach All rights reserved. photos and stories

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Skype in the Classroom

                               Photo by Shirley King

To see a video of characters in my books, click on link below


This blog began as a collections of stories about how children make peace. I am still collecting such stories. However, from now on, I will be posting experiences with Skype in The Classroom.  This is a website that coordinates visits to classrooms all over the world by using SKYPE for video calls. 

I joined it recently because when I read about it in one of my writers groups. I didn't know anything about SKYPE except that it was a way of communicating over the internet.

I uploaded the program. Then, I learned my laptop needed a microphone/camera gadget.  For about the last five years, laptops have included that hardware, but my mine is older. Happily,  a friend had one I could attach. Set up for SKYPE, I canvassed Maryknoll Sisters to see who uses this program.   When I found a few users, the next step was to practice.

After the first fright of seeing myself online, I discovered settings that allow me to change the lighting and contrast. A light directly behind me gives the background a pink cast. A lamp at a distance makes it blue.

I thought I was all set until I noticed that the background needed a little decor. I am still rehearsing and discovering new details about SKYPE, but I am almost ready to publish my first lesson. After that I just wait until a teacher who wants an author visit contacts me.  

Of course, I am also open to invitations from others, The visit is geared to children 3 to 5, but also for older children in ESL (English as Second Language) groups. How about one in your area?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How Children Teach us Peace

Children as Teachers of Peace

Children are such wonderful, innocent, loving, trusting members of the human familiy. Yes, I know they can be naughty, too, but a lot of my mission experience was with children. I want to call on those experiences, that I'm sure you have had, too.

Children taught me a lot about God's Love.
Watch them play sometime. They engage with other children. They can quarrel and make up and move on with much more facility than adults. Have you ever stopped a fight on the playground and been surprised to see the two protagonists arm in arm a few minutes later, as if nothing ever happened.

Children taught me a lot about myself, too.
Sometimes, I felt they were like the Holy Spirit. They are like a whisper. You won't hear a thing, if you don't listen carefully. Sometimes, I had to be so gentle, because even a look would inhibit the spontaneity of some children. Teachers need to be so gentle. A severe "school teacher" look can stop a child who was only exploring a new way of doing something.

I learned from children that everybody blossoms with praise. Maybe a First Grader has only managed to make a few letters without going off the line, but he will keep on trying, if you show him he has made even one letter beautiful.

They are trusting and expect fairness, too. Not long ago, I was sitting at a table with a child and her aunt. The child wanted to go and play, but she hadn't eaten very much. Auntie said, "Take two more bites. Then you can go."

Bravely, the little girl picked up the spoon, and took a bite, then another. She waited. When auntie didn't say anything, the child said. "I took two more bites."

Children seem to understand peacemaking. I wish adults could learn how children make peace. I'm sure many of you have seen a child make peace, with a sibling, with an adult who is impatient, or with a teacher who wants perfection.

Let's share our stories. Maybe we can gather some right here.