I am not a blogger. Good start to a blog post, I know! It’s unfortunately true though and I think it’s better to get it out in the open now (you’ve been warned!).
When I was thinking about what to write for my blog I came to the conclusion rather quickly that I should write about the best part of being here. So, without further ado…
Without a shadow of a doubt the best thing about being here is being in school with my students. As a teacher of the older students (7th and 8th grade) I was warned beforehand of typical “teenage attitudes”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely there. However, these kids have one-hundred and one amazing qualities that make me smile every day. They are smart, inquisitive, loving, creative, caring, funny, silly, talkative (not always a good thing), friendly and kind! I’m not here to paint a pretty picture and it is not always rainbows and butterflies (I can sometimes be heard shouting from the other classrooms) but 95% of the time I am a very happy teacher! I must admit that it has taken a lot of work to get to this point. I had to put a lot of effort into laying down the ground rules, being consistent with my discipline and making clear what was expected of them in the classroom. Of course, we are not completely there, but when I look back to where we began, I can see that they have come on leaps and bounds. Both individually and as a class, and both academically and personally, I have seen these lovely students improve and grow before my eyes. I am very happy to witness it and, hopefully, help them along the way and I am extremely proud to be their teacher.
They have challenged me in a lot of ways. Almost every day they question what I say with “But Miiiiiissss…….?”. They have made me learn more about the world, life in Honduras and teaching. I enjoy their company so much and when they are enthusiastic about what we are doing in class it is an absolute pleasure to teach them. Their spoken English is beyond impressive and their ability to understand quite complex English, such as learning science through English, blew me away! That is definitely a credit to Cofradia’s Bilingual School. I am honored to teach here.
We have done a lot in these 3 months – we have written letters to a class in Ireland, we have done projects on countries and on people, we have had debates about very controversial and mature topics and we have written stories and newspaper articles. We have also (and I say “we” including me because I am by no means a scientist and have had to learn a lot along the way) learned about plants, animals and humans in science. We have done experiments on the respiratory system, the immune system and the digestive system (you can imagine how lovely that was!). My point here is that these kids want to learn. They are interested in exploring new things and we get through a lot of work because of their positive attitudes and willingness to learn and participate. Of course we have to do the boring stuff – aka grammar – which also happens to be the thing in which they need the most practice. But that’s part and parcel of the job, for them and for me!
Last week we wrote about what we were thankful for and I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear when I read that some of them were thankful for their teacher. One of my favorite cards was “I am thankful to have a very good teacher, because she has patience with us when we are very bad. Sometimes she gets angry but it is only to make us look that we are behaving bad. But she is almost always happy and I like that my beautiful teacher is happy. I love her so much…”. This reminded me why I am here. I get reminders like this every day I am in school. I do get quite homesick here to be honest. I miss a lot of wonderful people from home but every day I go into school and I get a hug from my students or I have a great class with them I know why I am here and I am definitely happy to be here.
– Katie, 7th & 8th grade teacher