Early years of teaching
Peace Corps and traveling through South America, stretched Kate to new levels in her early years of teaching. It required using
Spanish for curriculum work and visits to the city, while simultaneously learning Guarani, an official native language of Paraguay. Peace Corps meant learning to do professional level work without reliable electricity or running water in the home, schools or teachers' colleges where Kate worked. She traveled 5 hours into the capital city to be able to use a computer or have internet service, so planning ahead was important for teacher training courses and curriculum materials being created. Embracing a Growth Mindset transformed Kate from seeing the challenges as opportunities to innovate, collaborate, learn from, and create with others. The welcoming spirit of Paraguayans has felt like an enduring gift to Kate as a teacher, learner, and world citizen.
In the Peace Corps, Kate served as an Environmental Educator, Teacher Trainer (at the Santani Teacher's College and the Facultud de Asuncion) , besides working as a Community Coordinator at Peace Corps headquarters.
While in Paraguay, she embarked on a journey with host country teachers and other volunteers (from the US, Switzerland, Ireland, England, and Argentina) that initially involved the creation of curriculum materials and teacher guides, to full teacher credited courses through the university system. Kate taught many of these courses and then trained in-coming volunteers and host-country teachers to do the same when she moved to the capitol. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.
The teaching materials that Kate organized, designed and co-illustrated/wrote were published in Paraguay in 2000. Immediately after finishing service, Kate spent 9 months traveling extensively throughout South America. She later returned to South America for part of her graduate studies.