So, the idea was that superhero music would accompany the title to this blog post. Why? Just because it would be fun. I am very happy to be teaching again, and am fighting my tendencies to put too much pressure on myself, get all caught up in English language teaching methodology, and over complicate everything. Instead, I’m try to focus on loving my kids. That’s it. That’s the goal. You’d think it’d be simple…
But it’s harder than you think. Sometimes I think I let all the other issues get in the way of accomplishing the bigger goal. Here are some things that could be seen as challenges, but that I insist will act as reminders of what God can do through those who trust in him.
-My first grade classroom is 15 ft wide by 30 ft long (about the size of a single car garage), with desks and every child has their wheely backpack and lunch box sitting next to their desk. There is barely room to move down the isles of desks.
-There is one teacher computer for all the teachers in the elementary and high school.
-We must submit copies on Tuesdays for elementary and Wednesdays for high school.
-All rooms have only whiteboards. No smart board. No projector. No wifi. But they DO have these really cool refillable dry erase markers.
-There is no air conditioning.
-There IS a student computer lab, but it only has 2 computers with internet.
I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting too, but they don’t really matter. I am struggling to figure things out. Whoo it was a challenge to figure out how to control 25 6- year olds. But, praise the lord, I have teacher friends who helped teach me songs, behavior plans, and who gave me pointers on teaching little ones. I feel very blessed to have so much support.
Also, my kids are great! Well, they have their issues like any kids, but I am really enjoying them all. The 1st graders crack you up, and love participating. They need affirmation in everything and sometimes I think they just like to say my name over and over for fun. I am learning a lot about being proactive with expectations, talking in a sweet voice, and being over-the-top animated. Imagine, “sweet” Ann. Doesn’t work, but I try to at least not scare the children.
With my high-schoolers its a different story. I’m kind of lost on how much English I should speak, how to evaluate them, how to make things fun without technologies, how to incorporate biblical teachings and values, how to manage my classroom with high schoolers who speak a different language, and how to teach English grammar. Please pray for my students. 🙂
Oh the other hand, I am still working on the Hilos program and am really excited! We haven’t started our knitting project yet and already have a new professor, material, and projects planned. Wooo Hooo. The women are also really excited too to start knitting again. They like it more than jewelry. 😦 But really, they like learning new things. The idea is that we will continue to make more jewelry while we learn our new knitting projects. Also, off topic, but the women have invited just to eat lunch with them early this week for my birthday. I am moved by their generosity.
Lucia, our new knitting teacher!
Speaking of my birthday, everyone in the house threw me a big lunch party complete with cake, a piñata, a birthday present (Peru Jacket!!), decorations, yummy lunch, hugs, cards, and kind words. It was really fun. Then for dinner Jan, Dhaly, and I went to Pizza Hut and had a meat lovers pizza 🙂 Not that I was really craving pizza, but it just sounded great at the moment. (Brea was sick- lame).
Oh, I forgot to mention that the girls, Dhaly, and Brea suprised me while I was lesson planning at midnight on Monday (the day before my birthday) by singing and cracking an egg on my head. Another weird Peruvian birthday tradition 😉 Love them!
Then this last weekend we went to Lima (Brea, Jan, and I). It was awesome! We rode a night bus (so glad I’m short- although this time it didn’t really help because my seat wouldn’t lay down all the way- I think it was because I wasn’t big enough- so it kept coming up. I asked the stewardess to move, and the next chair did it too!) We got there Saturday morning, and dropped our things off at my Peruvian family’s house (the family I stayed with when I studied abroad). We did some shopping for Hilos, went to a lunch/ Peruvian variety dance show, went out to eat with my family, then went out salsa dancing. Sunday we went to “La Cuidad” a bilingual church- we all cried at some point during the service, it reminded us of home, and had a great message and praise. In the afternoon we did a 3 hour city bus tour (which included the catacombs), then went to the magical water fountains park in the evening. It was just the perfect amount of time.
Tall people in small places.
Shopping with a big bag. What is Brea doing?
Magic water fountains!
Dance Show! Look closely, you’ll see Brea out there.