Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Martes 08 de Febrero

Today was the first day of real classes.  The work is not strenuous whatsoever, but when you are dealing with intelligent students at an active age, they need to be entertained at all parts of the day.  My two classes are polar opposites—fourth grade has ten extroverts and 6th grade has ten introverts.  The students in fourth grade are not by any means off the wall, but they are just curious and eager to learn.  Sixth grade is calm and they listen very well.  They never talk out of turn and are always respectful.  Now, you would think this would be much better, but it gets kind of awkward because I have to speak and provide all the entertainment for the entire class period. 

I tried to push a couple things in my English classes today: What the students like to do and what they would like to do in the future.  I like to run.  I like to eat.  I like to sleep.  I like to laugh.  I would like to visit the United States.  I would like to play soccer in the afternoon.  I would like to listen to music.  The only way I can think to increase their retention is to say it first in Spanish and then in English or vice versa. 

Me gusta correr.  I like to run.
Me gusta comer.  I like to eat.
Me gustaria jugar futbol en la tarde.  I would like to play futbol in the afternoon.

My students already know colors, numbers, animals.  I plan on teaching basic questions and answers in the coming weeks.  I have scheduled an on Tuesday over vocabulary words that I compiled and printed.  I don’t think the exam is too difficult and I told them today about it so they should have plenty of time to prepare. 

It has been very difficult for me to teach music, because I don’t have the appropriate materials—song books for basic English music, or even a guitar or other instruments.  It is tough to keep their attention when I try to teach them ‘country roads’ by John Denver.  It was the first song that popped into my head…

Art was pretty easy because you can tell them to draw basically anything and put them to work.  It was interesting for me to see which students were good at what.  One kid who is clearly hyperactive and is all over me the entire period calmed down completely when he had art supplies in his hand.  You can tell how creative he is and how meticulous his details are.  I tried to encourage him as much as possible because art is what he likes and it is what seems to calm him down.  His name is Kevin which is obviously the same in English, so he said he wanted another English name.  I asked him which one he would like and he said “Max”.  So, now he goes by Max.  I have the only two blonde girls in the school—one asked to be called Barbie and the other Shakira, I said ok.  I have the sneaking suspicion that I got hooked up in terms of grade assignments.  I walked into Marie’s preschool and kindergarten class and they were riding each other like donkeys.   
Yesterday, we “summitted” one of the mountains near the town.  My friend Mario asked if I wanted to go to the mountains on a hike, but I had no idea it would be as involved as it was.  It was a steep gradient the entire way and must have been at least 2000 vertical feet.  We were all completely exhausted and scratched up when we fought ourselves through the brush to the top of the mountain, but the view made it completely worth it.  On one side there was a view of the city and the other was a view of the countryside and mountains.  I get out of work every day at 1230, so we teachers normally take a little siesta. 

C.S. 100 dollar challenge—With 100 U.S. dollars, you can buy 188 of the best tacos you have ever tasted.  Each taco is smothered in enchilada sauce, fresh goat cheese, and delicious cabbage.  They are deep fried before smothered in sauce.  You can’t beat authentic, gourmet tacos for 50 cents.


  1. The kids sound adorable. You are doing great! Sounds like you've already made progress with them. I'm so proud that the first song that popped in your head was John Denver... You are your mother's son! I wish you had your guitar!

    So glad you went mountain climbing. I'm sure it felt great to do something physical.

    How good would a taco be with goat cheese! I want one!

  2. LOVE the pictures. Looks like a great hike and a good time. Beautiful scenery ( I like the tropical foliage!) black and whites are spot on!

  3. Hey it's Megan. Miss you :) I'm catching up with the blog. Do you need me to send music? i have a little book that"s called get america singing. All patriotic and folk songs. The book just has melodies and chords. Just let me know.