So it has been 2 weeks since my last post and a lot has happened since then. I graduated from language school, and I have started working in Colegio Berea, and the soup kitchens that are affiliated with the Fundacion Berea.
The Colegio has been wonderful so far. Sure there are times when I feel totally lost and question my abilities on why I am teaching. But for the most part wonderful. I have never taught before in a classroom setting and on my first day I was very very nervous going into a classroom setting where the children aren’t speaking the same language. But all my worries were basically for nothing. The children in my first class that I taught were between the ages of 9-12 and they were all very receptive and willing to participate. I wish I could say all my classes have gone that smoothly, but classroom management skills are definitely something that I need to work on.
There are 5 different levels of students that I teach: the youngest group has 6 totally adorable preschoolers that are 3 and 4 years old, the next level has 10 kindergarteners, then a class of 1st-3rd graders, a class of 4th-6th graders, and finally a class of 7th and 8th graders. All of the classes are starting at a very low English level, so I have been teaching very basic stuff these past 2 weeks, for example, “My name is _____”, colors, numbers, dates, etc.
I feel like by being in a school setting I am learning a lot of Spanish pretty quickly. Most of the preschoolers don’t understand that my Spanish level is low (why wouldn’t I speak Spanish?), so they will tell me very long stories, or tattle on one of the other kids, but for a 3 year-old, usually all they want to hear you say is “yes” or “cool!” as a response.
One of my favorite moments of being at the school happened while I was eating lunch with the kids in the 1st-8th grade classes and I found myself sitting between two 8 year old boys. They were going on and on about how much they love shrimp and chocolate cake, and at that moment I knew I was in the right place.
It’s kind of amazing how similar kids are no matter where you are. Even though half the time I can’t understand what the kids are saying, they act very much like all the kids I have talked to in the U.S.
I will be posting pictures of the Colegio and more information about my work in the Soup Kitchens in the coming week, so stay tuned.