Thursday, August 02, 2012

beware the wild things, they'll melt your heart.

I've mentioned before how this school year a remedial reading program was going to be added to my tasks. It started in July and it has been one struggle of an adventure.
First, the room. I'm in a huge conference hall maybe the size of a small gym. I have one long table. No desks. No chairs. One small chalk board that was brought in later. Two of those round florescent bulbs, and windows for lighting this big space. And two ceiling fans, which I could do a whole blog post on which fans are best. Hint, not ceiling fans. So, not the most conductive to learning environment.
Second, how education outside of the elite class of the school works. It's ignoring the kids making a mess in the CR. Its ignoring the kids not in your class coming in and running around. It's ignoring your own kids running in and out of the classroom. It's ignoring the kids going to the window and yelling across to their classmates in their rooms. It's ignoring the kids trying to throw their tsinellas onto the spinning ceiling fan. It's ignoring the kids hiding in the curtains on the stage. It's ignoring the millions of kids looking in the windows at the class. It's ignoring everything you learned in any educational psychology, classroom behavior, management class you took for all those semesters in college. I'm not quite there yet. The best part is when I tell other teachers, they really don't care.
Third, the pupils. The rotten, naughty, energetic pupils. I love them so hard. they are 8 and 9 year olds. I love their age group. Any and all attempts to figure out what their reading level's are got stuck in the fan with their paper airplanes. So we just do the best we can. They love taking notes, they love reciting, and love me. It's not as vain as it sounds, these kids are all about me. They wait for me at the gate to the school. Class goes until 3:00 because I have Grade 6. They know this, and yet everyday we barter. Teacher can we have class until 5? No, 3 la. 4? I have class at 3. Pout. They come to class when their teacher cancels their class. Yesterday morning I was with grade 5 when one of my students came peering through the window. His teacher cancelled class so he came to hang out with me. He sat for awhile outside, then told me when he was leaving. My grade 5 students wrote papers on their friends and thy kept using the compliment 'small but terrible', I love it. These rem readers are small but terrible and I love it. I'll try to post weekly anecdotes on them.
And really, who cares if they learn anything beyond all the lyrics to Down By the Bay? I'm leaving soon. Joke! But this approach does seem to be most successful here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

pardon the absence

So I realize I've not posted anything in what feels like forever. I'm working on it.
This whole time here I've felt like I've been busy but not really done a lot. A very common Peace Corps feeling I think. However, this last month or so I've felt busy busy. Which is why I've not been the best at updates, but also why I really need to update.
So, heads up, blogs to come!