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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2007-07-10 15:58:06
Subject: First Day of School

Today I went to help at school for the first time. Of course I had one thing in my mind about how I could help and thought I relayed that idea yesterday. I told Professora Maria yesterday that I might be best as the disciplinarian. I would take misbehaving kids outside for a little exercise (push-ups, duck walks, sit-ups etc). I arrived to find the gate locked up and no way to enter. I thought, oh well, maybe tomorrow. Not so fast. Professora Maria came and unlocked the gate. I entered and she led me to the middle room without the teacher. The room was filled with 33 first graders. My job was to watch over them while they practiced their handwriting. Handwriting in Honduras is taken very seriously. The children practice writing shapes, pictures and letters. Today they practiced writing snails (with a spiral shell) followed by the letter f in cursive. First I noticed that no less than six children at a time were pursuing me as I walked around classroom. All of them wanted me to look at their notebooks every time they finished a line of snails (four snails per line). After ten minutes of that I decided I'd better establish some rules before I began pulling out the three hairs that are left on my balding head. So I began telling the children to remain in their chairs and raise their hands when they had something for me to look at. I don't think this is habit yet as I had to remind them constantly that I would not look at their notebooks while they were out of their chairs. Next problem was what to do as invariably some students will finish before the others are even a quarter of the way finished. Unfortunately the less than ambitious children know that they do not need to finish their work because of the time restraints. Thankfully Fernando finished with school early today. I needed a Coke badly. I asked Fernando to buy one and bring it back. He came back with a Pepsi but I forgave him. :-) Finally class was over when Professora Maria asked the students to write down several words for which I presume they needed to copy for homework. It was Fernando's turn to sweep up after class so we worked on it together. As we were finishing the new teacher for the fifth and sixth grade asked if I could come and teach English to the sixth graders. Unfortunately I am not good at saying no, even though you use the same word in English and Spanish. I suppose tomorrow my teaching responsibilities will expand a bit. The sixth graders need to be exposed to English before they go to colegio (junior high/high school). Without English before colegio, they are at an EXTREME disadvantage. For some reason I had memories of the movie "Kindergarten Cop" today.
Replies to this message
re: First Day of School  by Mike Jones on Tuesday July 10, 2007
     re: First Day of School  by Mark on Tuesday July 10, 2007

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