June 12, 2012
We woke up this morning to (still) freezing cold water for the shower. It wakes us all up SO fast! After the morning ritual of trying to get all the girls through the shower, we headed over to Sr. Daniel's where we had breakfast. We CocoPuffs, yogurt, avocado sandwiches, and cheese sandwiches. For those of you that know anything about me, you know that I HATE dairy products. However, I sucked it up and ate the yogurt with my cereal. (The yogurt here is really weird because it doesn't have to be refigerated. I think that means more preservatives?) After breakfast we headed to the school becuase Meredith, Erin, and I all had to teach at 9:30 a.m. As we walked towards the school, there were students in the escuela secundaria leaning out the windows yelling and waving at us. (It's always awkward when this happens because we already stick out like sore thumbs, and then to have all the students yelling and pointing at us only makes it more awkward.)
I was walked to my first class today, which was approximately the sixth grade level, and my teacher greeted me and then promptly handed over her instruction manuel and said, "You can teach today, ok?" I had no idea how to respond so I just said, "I'll do my best!" Then we just went to town talking about water as a liquid, a solid, and a gas. There was one boy in particular who was so funny. He wanted so badly to participate that he didn't care if he was right or wrong, he always just shouted out an answer. Maybe he just wanted to hear himself talk. Jaja. Students in this class were constantly asking me how old I was. Finally, I said to them, "How old do you think I am?" (I was hoping to make a game out of it and make them practice their numbers.) "Twenty-two?" one girl responded. Dang. They guessed well and FAST. After this, I taught the same lesson to the same age group but in a different classroom. (I think it is important to note that the students here are very different than those in the US. These were middle school-aged students, but they were very involved. They wanted to learn, and they were extremely respectful. Maybe this is because they were at a private institution?)
After about an hour long break, I went to teach in a second grade classroom about colors, months, and using gerund verbs. I could not believe the disorganization and chaotic environment! I have been in second grade classrooms in the US, but this was like a kindergarten classroom with how hyper they were! I think it may have been the novelty of having someone new in the classroom. It will probably (hopefully) get better from here. The students were cute, though. A group of three boys pushed their way through to the front whilst I was teaching to tell me that I have "Ojos elegantes," elegant eyes. Oh silly chiquitos. Then, as I was trying to leave after class, almost all of the students rushed forward to give me hugs. As a person that hates hugs, it was an interesting experience to say the least.
Then we walked back over to Sr. Daniel's house and had THE most amazing lunch-- carne con arroz with arroz con leche y canela for dessert. It was simple, but tan deliciosa. Madre mia. We had some spare time, so we sat down and watched some TV, but I fell asleep for a little bit. (Eating all those carbs for lunch always makes me SO tired!) Finally, we headed back over to the escuela primaria where Meredith and I would observe and evaluate a teacher in the Language Center, and Erin and Aimee would have their culture class. In one of the classes (Basic 6) Sr. Daniel's son was in it, so it was nice to see a familiar face.
The language center is centered around learning English, so the students aren't allowed to speak Spanish when they are there. This center is a separate program from the actual school, but the classes take place in the school (until the new center is finished being built) and is under the administration of the school. A few of the students at the center are also students from the school. However, anyone from the community can enroll to learn English. It is quite an investment, so not too many people are enrolled. (My intermediate 8 class has three students, and the basic 6 class has 8.) All of the students in the language center classes have motivation to learn. They want to be there and learn English, so it is extremely evident that they are working hard and applying their knowledge.
Anway, this has gone on quite long enough. More about the school system later. I'll leave you with a joke from Sr. Daniel at dinner:
"Last month I worked hard. This month I must work twice as hard." -Sr. Daniel
"Oh, that's too bad!" -We Girls
"Yes. Last month I only worked one day. This month I must work two." -Sr. Daniel
Bahaha. He's such a jokester. And his laugh is hysterical. Jajaja.
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