September 11th, 2010
Well, school has been in session now for 6 whole days and you might well ask, how is it going? In response we would say, “Great!” Upon probing deeper you would find that “Great!” means we are enjoying the school and our students and are also a bit overwhelmed! We've come to the noble conclusion, however, that we are here to teach, we don't have other obligations here and so it is okay if we arrive at school at 7:15 in the morning and leave at 5pm or later. And it is okay if we need to spend a few hours at the school on the weekend. It feels good to be able to pour ourselves into something and have the time and space to give it. Life seems simpler here, somehow.
My mom asked an interesting question this morning. She said, “Do you feel safe when you're at school on the weekends?” I had never stopped to consider it. You see, the school has an iron fence around it and a guard at it 24 hours a day. There is no need for us to have keys to anything. I suppose I feel safer there than I would at a school in the states on a weekend.
My students, I can't speak for Peter, are cute and very fun. It's a class of 12, 4 boys and 8 girls. One little girl only speaks German. She will be pulled out for Intensive English during reading and language arts. I am discovering that I thoroughly enjoy little kids. They are funny, and so full of energy! I've told Peter that in the morning, I love their enthusiasm, their eagerness to share about their lives and connect whatever we are learning about to a story in their own life. But by the afternoons, I am a wee bit weary and not so excited about their excitement! It is a very good thing then, that it is in the afternoons that the students go to a rotating schedule of “specials” - language, art, P.E. music, library. Their times out of the classroom (every day they have 1 special, some days they have 2) gives me a moment to regroup and get ready to teach technology, science or cultural studies to them.
The school day begins at 8:15am and ends at 3pm. This week after-school clubs are starting. Every teacher is supposed to come up with and implement one idea for a club. In reality, some teachers end up being helpers – there wouldn't be enough students for all the clubs otherwise. On Mondays, I will lead an “outdoor games” club for 5-6-7 year olds. We shall be running around like wild banshees.
Well, I must sign off for now. We are off to the mountains tomorrow (hopefully!) and need to prepare. We'll be wearing our warm gear and probably our rain jackets as precipitation is finally on the forecast.