Thursday, March 10, 2011

Glittered Thoughts

I sometimes wonder why in the last 7 months I have not written very much. Is this a good thing? Is it because I am being more of a “social” person? Is being a “social” person good? Are there too many thoughts in my head with no escape? What changes have been made from last year to this year that has caused the decline in writing?

I have, indeed, been spending more time with people and less time alone. When I’m with others I am not able to be alone with my thoughts to be spewed onto paper. My roommate is awesome, which is good, but instead of writing in my bedroom I would rather spend time with her in the living room talking. Also on the weekends I am always busy whether it is attending soccer games, going to the movie theatre, hanging out at Starbucks, etc. The good part is that I have found time to record a few songs. I will, however, try to find more time to write because it is something I love to do and it feels good for my soul.
Can you tell that it is "mis-match" day?
With this being said, I will write a little about my experience teaching here in Mexico. One of the joys of teaching EFL students is the amount of deciphering one must do. (Not just with EFL students, but I can imagine with all young students.) For example, I just had a student come up and ask me, “Up and down, or like this (while pointing from side to side.)” With this question alone I had no idea what he was trying to ask. Therefore, my thought process went something like this:

"What is he referring to? Okay, it is a math test. What is he trying to do on the math test? Okay, he is trying to solve a word problem and write a number model. He must want to write the number model vertically similarly how he would solve the problem on paper. "

I answered, “Side to side.”

With this he was satisfied, thanked me, and walked away.
Celebrating our "100th" day of school!
On this same day I assigned them a Thursday “work day”. Essentially it was 40 minutes worth of centers, but sometimes I prefer changing the name from “centers” to “work day” so the students know that they are suppose to work instead of just play. One of the five stations was to finish their Mardi Gras masks from Tuesday. This involved students putting glue on their construction paper masks. On Tuesday I controlled the glitter by staying next to them, but today I figured I would see how they would do on their own. Boy, I had no idea what kind of mess they were going to create!

About 30 minutes in to the “work day” I walked over to the glitter station and was flabbergasted at what I found. It looked as though the glitter had exploded and then a tornado came through. Very calmly I called for an emergency halt to all activity and asked all students to gather around the glitter station. Before speaking I took a few deep breathes in and repeated to myself, “Calm, calm, calm.” I then proceeded to ask, “Why have I called all of you over here? Please raise your hand to answer.”

I was surprised by how solemn the students were, my ability to remain calm, and in the end, the students’ genuine look of remorse. I explained to them how I had bought the glitter and it upset me that they would disrespect and waste something that I had bought. I understand that most of my students come from wealthy families and don’t understand the concept of money, but I also believe that they have the ability within them to try to begin to understand the concept that items cost money. In the end I assigned a handful of students to clean up the mess and try to salvage as much glitter as possible. We finished cleaning up the mess, the students packed up their things, and left for the day.
Showing off their St. Patrick's Day art project.

A mere 10 minutes later while sitting at my desk waiting for students to come in for after school tutoring a little sister of one of my students ran in through the open door and said, “Ms. Stephanie!” She ran up to me with arms open wide, swung them around me and gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek. Her name is Viviana. She wears glasses, has long brown hair normally in pig tails, and the cutest smile ever! It’s moments like this and little girls like her that make me love my job.
This student misspelled my name.  I shouldn't be surprised, however.  She misspells even her own name!

I hope to write more soon. Until then, enjoy every moment and take time to stop and appreciate the little things.

1 comment:

  1. What creative activities you do with your class!! They are blessed to have such a great teacher. Blessings,