What I wish was different
I really disagreed with the goals of the administration. They pushed a very "white saviorist" model of teaching to high school refugee girls most of them still learning to speak English. A couple were conversational, the rest were very much in earlier stages. Rather than teaching them skills about how to manage their identities in the classroom (a concern many of the girls expressed), they were taught about terms they couldn't pronounce, let alone understand the definitions for, like "homophobia," "prejudice," and "oppression." These girls certainly understood the terms in their native languages, but sat through lectures that were completely incomprehensible to about 90% of the students. They were also forced to read books ahead of their literacy level, and the supervisor showed extreme vitriol when interns pushed back against the "recommended" teaching style, even though many of the girls were not understanding the first chapter of the book after repeating it four days in a row. They played the documentary "Malala" for the girls--who were understandably upset. A few of their family members-brothers and fathers--were killed by the Taliban and the girls cried throughout the entire movie. The supervisor did not turn off the movie and said afterwards "that movie makes me sad too." There is a complete lack of understanding of and compassion for what it means to be an immigrant. The interns also gathered that the supervisor was "collecting" quotes from girls and lying to interns using these fake quotes to further her own agenda as well as saying extremely disturbing things. I wish that this experience had been what it had been advertised as--a truly "girlforward" environment where they put the well-being of the campers ahead of their savior-ist agenda. There was no real care taken for the girls and the supervisor tried to fire a fellow intern for being autistic. There was clear favoritism--especially for one intern who did not pull her weight in the group and also set other interns back by ruining some of their teaching materials and breaking rules during the day. It was a disappointing environment to say the least. Additionally, the supervisor on the last day of camp asked a girl if she "was ok" with NO follow-up after she fainted on a hike in 100˚F+ weather and did not ask if she needed anything or attempt to help in any way. I felt that this administration was mostly focused on offering the "right" curriculum without any thought for their audience, in a work environment that was borderline abusive. The supervisor said at one point that she had taught abroad and wished that she could "tell students to get the [swear] out" in the U.S. as she'd done in China. Inappropriate and completely ruined my entire summer--the work hours were extreme and I ended up getting pneumonia after working there due to stress.