Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to School Blues

I have to admit, it was awfully difficult to back to school today. I had become accustomed to waking up at 8 am, taking my time eating my chocolate banana pancakes, relaxing on the beach, and then working on my class work. Needless to say, waking up at 6 am, in order to teach a full day of school was no day at the beach. However, I survived and had a good day. It didn't take long for me to get back in the groove of things and realize why I was on this trip.

First thing I should mention is that Ak'bol is inconveniently located two miles away from the high school, so we had to get bikes (and no Mother, they didn't come with helmets...sorry). I haven't ridden a bike since my sophomore year of high school, so this has proven to be quite a surprise to me. However, it is nice to be able to go around town with such ease. It makes our treks much more fun, as well. So, it now takes us about 15 minutes to get to school by bike, which is tolerable compared to the 45 minutes it takes by foot.

Anyway, I felt quite unprepared for today's lesson, seeing as Miss Usher didn't want to ask the teachers in the English department what they needed help with and she didn't give me any plans herself. With that being said, I was pretty sure I would working with Miss Usher for the rest of this week. Since she didn't give me any plans, I just assumed I would be observing a lesson she had worked on for today. Boy, was I surprised when she told me that I would be teaching the first form students subject-verb agreement today. On top of that, a minute before we went into class, she told me to do the ant rap again. I was not too excited about doing the same lesson again, but she's the boss.

I began the class with a review of the ant rap and then I had students rap it back to me, because Miss Usher explained that they would have an exam where they had to memorize the rap. Next, I reviewed subject-verb agreement and then we played a game where I would yell out a verb and either singular or plural and two students would write a sentence on the board using that criteria. The first team to finish their sentence got a point. This continued for the rest of the period.

Probably the highlight of my day, like many days, has been the food in the cantina. Today, I was helping to serve meat pies, when I was told by John to look at what was in the pot on the stove. When I looked in the pot, there was a decapitated armadillo floating in some boiling water. Mr. Gustavo went hunting over the break and was going to make us some armadillo tacos. Thus far, I have not been one to turn down new foods, and I wasn't about to deny this treat a try. When I finally got a chance to make my taco, I had some armadillo, tomatoes, and onions with chili peppers. At the risk of sounding cheesy or cliche, it just tasted a chicken taco. I enjoyed it, mostly because it tasted like any other taco I had eaten. When I open a restaurant, I think I'm going to have quesadillas stuffed with armadillo and call them quesadillos...sorry that was stupid.

Anyway, I did have a low part in my day. The class of 1G had forgotten or refused to do their homework over the break and as a result Miss Usher made them stay after school and do the homework three times. Now, this wasn't some short assignment. Students had to copy three long paragraphs from their workbooks on to paper and then fill in the correct verbs. Once they did this, they had to do it two more times. Of course, Miss Usher asked me if I would stay and watch the kids. After an hour of watching students copy and write in silence, I began to wonder if this was more of a punishment for them or for me. As soon as students finished, I had to collect their work and make sure they didn't skip any sentences. There were at least five students who tried to leave early by skipping sentences and I got really angry that they would do this. I tried to reason with them and explain that I wanted to be there as much as they did, but there was no reason to cheat and try to sneak it past me. This was a bad way to end the first day back, but I'm excited at the prospect of tomorrow being better. 

Overall, I'm glad to be back at school. It makes being in Belize seem more important and I feel like I have a purpose. I'm starting to get the itch to get back home and see everyone, but so long as I'm here I'd like to feel like I'm doing something productive. Being at school and working with the students makes me feel good about my time here; it gives me a reason to wake up at the crack of dawn just so I can ride my bike.

No comments:

Post a Comment