As many of you know, I am a Kindergarten teacher at a Vive Abudante, a bi-lingual school here in Gracias. I have had many people ask me what it is like to teach here so I thought I would share my last day of school before Christmas and my first day back after Christmas. It is a great example of the everyday things that I deal with while teaching in a third- world country.
School for us starts at 7:40 so we leave our house around 7:00 to drive the three miles and 20 minutes to my school. When we arrived, the teachers were told that our Christmas break was going to be extended by several days. Instead of starting on December 3 we would be starting on December 9. While this was great news I wished we would have been told earlier so that we could have stayed in the States longer. Oh well. I went on to class to get ready for our party. On our last day before Christmas, I had planned to decorate cookies, watch a movie and then have our party. I had taken the Christmas cookies to class the day before so I would not have to remember them Friday- this was a mistake. Rats ate all the cookies that I had made. Then I went to plug-in the computer to watch the movie I had rented and there was no electricity. There was really no use in trying to teach since out of the 5 school days we had only gone to school 2 of them that week so we played outside until it started to drizzle. After school we drove to San Pedro Sula to a hotel- where there was not hot water and then on the plane the next day, Tyler’s i-pod got stolen. Needless to say, I was really glad to land in the USA.
My first day back to school was a little better planned on my part but not on my administrators. My principle came in after class started and told me that I would not be having music class that day. Since I was not scheduled to have it I was very confused. When I showed him the schedule he had printed for me (after I asked three times for it), he said that the schedule was 2 years old and none of it was correct. Along with that, my class has been having half-day kindergarten but after Christmas we were suppose to go to full day. Then, right before lunch, I found out that my kids were not staying for the full day. So we hurriedly packed to get ready to go. After class my principle came in to tell me that I would be getting four new students and that we did not have enough desks or books for them but would order some. I had done my lesson plans for all of January- none of them work now but my Type-A personality has done a lot of growing in the area of last-minute changes and learning to go with the flow.
Yesterday my principle brought me a new and improved schedule for this semester, although we are now a week into the new semester. He told me that for the last hour of the day I needed to practice for the Kindergarten Graduation that will happen in June. Yes, you are understanding that correctly- one hour a day for 6 months. Ugh! This should tell you the importance of education verses entertainment and dances.
I do have lots of small joys in with the frustrations. In perfect English one of my kids ask me yesterday “Who is first in the line?” When I rejoiced in her English another boy said in not so perfect English “She speakin de English.” So funny! My 27 students are really beginning to understand and speak English now. I love it!