English class offers live conversation with health care professionals from Porto Alegre and cities in the United States
Mandela, Malala, and many others have been addressed in the English language classes of the 10th grade, once the theme studied has been heroes of humanity. However, in these times of pandemic, other heroes have been gaining more and more space for their dedication and bravery: the health care professionals. And for this reason the English teachers brought guest speakers to talk to students: Ana Paula Freitas, emergency physician at Pronto Socorro and Mãe de Deus Hospitals, Natalia Calegari, nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, and Michelle Biehl, pulmonologist and critical care physician at Cleveland Clinic Hospital.
Dr. Ana Paula stressed out the interest of students on what goes on in the world, bringing her personal experience and the uncertainty which strikes her and other professionals in the area. “Our feeeling is the same as yours, we also feel the fear and ask ourselves when everything is going back to normal. Our work is very unpredictable”, she explains.
Natalia, who is from Rio Grande do Sul but currently lives in the USA, shared with the group the concern she went through as she was in contact with a patient who might have contracted the disease. “I was in contact with him and even though I was wearing the protective equipment, I could have contracted the disease. The hospital then told me to stay home. In the end the patient tested negative. You see how it is? Even here it is not perfect”, she says.
After answering a few questions from students and other participating teachers about the work in the emergency rooms and how to avoid new pandemics, Dr. Ana Paula left a message for students: “We know you have many questions, be assured that we’ve been fighting for answers. You can always contact us! We work in teams to help people and we Love what we do!”.
Teacher Vivian Berlitz, mediator of this conversation, enforced that this topic makes a connection between the reality of this moment and the abilities that the school pursues to develop in the students throughout their school life considering an education for global citizenship. “This look to the professionals affected by the pandemic in different areas of society strengthens our students’ empathy, compassion and engagement. Being able to talk and share ideas with people who are directly involved in this crisis, with so many different experiences but who, at the same time, work for for the common benefit, was very enriching to all of us”, she adds.
For student Rodrigo Assis, from group 101, the class has provided a very important moment of formation. “We had the opportunity to listen, in English, about all the difficulties and challenges they are going through at this moment. It was a priviledge to have, among many regular ones, a differentiated class, in which we could learn more about the current situation of the pandemic and, at the same time, study the English language. It was a remarkable moment with a lot of learning involved”, he thanked.
Dr. Michelle Biehl sent a video message to students, since she was not able to take live participation in the activity.