From Saturday to Saturday II

Second Installment:

(D-Day) Monday, August 12

  • D-Day!
  • Actually, it was a beautiful day. There is such a positive campus culture here. The kids cheered for the principal (a teacher newly promoted to this role) when he got up to speak, for all of the staff, and even for us new hires.
  • I had a beautiful first day of school and the kids all seemed really sweet.
  • I relished in the Good Mornings, excuse mes, sorries, and byes. It reminded me of home. That is a welcome change from New York.
  • Went to a Zumba(?) class at the gym and hid in the back corner while trying to get the steps. It was fun though! I like the instructor and she knows I’m not fluent in Spanish. It’s really hard for me to understand the directions when spoken over loud, pounding music. This particular instructor looks out for me though and always signals when a new step is coming up. I appreciate that.

(Day 2 with Kids) Tuesday, August 13

  • The school’s an English speaking school. I have a large ELL population this year (understandably). At my previous school the ELL population was virtually non-existent. Learning how to change my teaching style for ELLs will benefit my teaching practice.
  • One student walked to the door during an activity because he thought I wanted to speak to him outside. I had mentioned door in my instructions, but it was definitely not what I was going for. It was endearing.
  • The kids are obedient to a level I’ve never seen before…to the point where when the ESL co-teacher (and Venezuelan local) told them they wrote their notes on the wrong part of the paper (I didn’t care if they wrote them at the bottom or the top of the handout) all 18 of them erased their notes and rewrote them in the asked for location. I was floored. And, yes, my largest class has only 19 students!
  • Went to the bank to set up local accounts. Took three hours.
  • I am now the person who needs the translator. It’s weird to need someone to sit beside you while filling out paperwork. She was translating sign here, thumbprint here, the computer’s acting up. I could pick up fragments of the conversation but not all.
  • I spoke to a school employee who doesn’t speak any English for a good hour while waiting for the others to finish opening their accounts.
  • The arepa (a typical Venezuelan food) I had with black beans, beef, and cheese while enjoying the warm weather and practicing my Spanish made the bank trip all worth it.

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