Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to School

Getting everything prepared for the first day of school was pretty crazy! We didn't find out our grade assignments until late Tues, and after that it was a rush Wednesday to get our classrooms ready for Thursday when the kids and their parents would be coming for the inauguration of the first day. Doors were decorated throughout the week, so we were just responsible for any decorations inside the classrooms. I swear the walls in my classrooms are against decorations, because things weren't sticking, and I think my spirits fell with each poster. Luckily the kids are learning just fine without crazy posters on the walls. In fact, I think they learn better without all that distraction, but you have to have some fun on the walls! It was incredible watching the Honduran teachers decorate--all decorations are pretty limited, and any posters we get need to be laminated so they can be used and reused. The laminating machine was a roll of contact paper, scissors and willing hands. The letter cutting machine was a set of letters for tracing, a marker, scissors and of course those willing hands. We got creative with borders to make them stretch for all the classrooms, and while I think they turned out cute I'm already excited to change my doors and come up with something festive!
2nd "A"

All the teachers came up with their own set of class rules, and I decided to keep mine simple. They were a lot more elementary until the Spanish teacher and I tried to translate them for each other, but I still like them. I have five: Arrive on time ready to learn, Be polite, Be organized, Be respectful and Always try your best. Of course when we went over the rules we got detailed about what each element meant, and that was pretty fun. Well, once I got past the blank "I haven't been speaking English all summer what the heck did she just say??" stares we had a good time with it.
The whiteboard in 2nd "B"

I am the second grade teacher, and the school is understaffed so I have both classes. It's apparently "easy" because while one class gets Spanish I'm teaching English courses in the other, and vice versa. But I have 49 students, and my days are jam-packed! My kids are incredible. Of course they're second graders so we have our moments, but it has just been a few short weeks and I'm already enamored. The first day we had the inauguration which consisted of some speeches, some prayer and introductions of the teachers. Then the kids came into class for a bit while the parents went to collect all their books, but it was a very short day and we mostly just smiled and tried to get the kiddos back into the swing of English. Their parents seemed pleased to be able to communicate with me, but I assured them strictly Spanish inside the classroom!

2do Grado "B"

Friday the kids had a full day of school, but we didn't have schedules so we just went over rules, got to know each other and touched on topics for a few subjects so I could gauge where they were academically. It was funny to feel ready for the weekend after such a short school week, but let me tell you I was ready for the weekend! 

You should hear the way the kids say "Mees Harees" and call me teacher. It's too cute. And I was "warned" that the students are affectionate and love the "Americans" but man they weren't kidding. I'm very grateful for all of their hugs, but was surprised at how quickly so many of them took to me! Emely referred to me as the mujer de stickers (sticker lady) at the end of the day because I had them all over my shirt! These kids love stickers, and some of their notebooks come with some really cute ones! Miss Harris and her 49 second graders, ready for an exciting year :) 
Sporting the uniform shirt (that thing gets HOT) and apparently very proud of my coffee. We were all dragging a little, so I made us toast with that sugary yum we all find so tasty. Mmm--ready for our first day of school!

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