Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


No this post has nothing to do with Christmas.

We've reached that glorious time in the school year where students get dismissed at 1pm (normally it's 3:15 or 4:00 depending on the grade). I can't tell you how happy this makes me. And don't forget, I've only been there for three weeks. I can only imagine how thrilled the regular teachers are who've been in school since March.

The school year ends on December 15th. I'll be filling in for at least one more week. Emphasis on the words 'at least'.

Not that I mind. More hours=more money=more traveling.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey

Happy Turkey Day!
haha. Get it??
Oh I crack myself up sometimes.


Anyway, just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Directions

People stop me on the street quite frequently to ask me for directions. This is funny for a few reasons. The main one being that I have a truly horrible sense of direction. So even if I understood Spanish, the chances of me being able to explain to someone how to get to where they wanted to go would be slim.

So of course I was really excited today when someone stopped me for directions and I was actually able to tell them where to go.

Okay, that's a lie. I had to point. I might not know enough Spanish yet, but I do know where the entrance to the metro is.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Skype Date!


Love these girls!!
The only thing missing was Bacon. (The cat, not the meat.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tarzan.

I left home 70 days ago. And for the first time I've really felt homesick. I guess it was bound to happen eventually. Maybe it's because the holidays are coming up. I actually forgot about Thanksgiving, since it's not celebrated here. And if my mom wasn't harassing me for my Christmas wish list I would have forgotten about that too. It's summer time here. Not really the season I equate with Christmas.

Today at school all fourth grade students went to a local stadium to practice sports. So I had over two hours with nothing to do. I spent the time cleaning up the classroom and hanging up my kids' artwork. Outside on the patio one of the second grade classes was having music class. So for 45 minutes they sang the same song over and over again. What song you may ask? Only the sappiest song ever. "You'll Be In My Heart" by Phil Collins. The song is even sappier when little kids sing it.

This did not help with the homesickness.

Though there is one thing that is going to help. My roommates from college are all getting together on Friday. One might think that this would make me miss home more. But I have a Skype date set up with these lovely ladies and I can't wait to see them. Even if it's just through the computer.

And if they don't cure my homesick blues, I'm sure a trip to Dunkin Donuts or Subway will do the trick.

Friday, November 12, 2010

First Week Recap

I started working this week and I can't remember the last time I was so happy it's Friday. First off, waking up at 6am sucks. But it will just be another thing I need to get used to.

Here's the rest:
  • Walking past a portrait of the Queen of England several times a day
  • Spelling things the British way (favourite, honour, theatre, metre...)
  • The metric system
  • Being called 'miss' by everyone (students and colleagues)
  • Writing in cursive (so far I've avoided doing this one)
  • Looking younger/shorter than half of the students (remember this is a K-12 school)

I'm sure there is more, but that is all I can think of at the moment. Now how about all the fantastic things about this school that I've already come to love:

  • The view of the Andes from the teacher's lounge (pictures to follow at some point)
  • The coffee/tea/cookies that are served during the first break (although I only actually enjoy one of those things, I'm sure you can guess which one)
  • The 45 minute lunch break (the middle school I was at last year had a 20 minute lunch)
  • The FREE totally edible lunch for the staff (complete with salad bar)
  • Free periods everyday while students study Spanish, music, PE.... (we're talking a minimum of 1.5 hours free per day...up to 3.75 hours...not including lunch and other breaks)
  • The kiosko on campus where you can by almost everything they sell at a 7-11 (minus all the things that require you to be 18 years or older)
Moving on. I've struggled a little with the students in my class. There are 28, very talkative, very hyper students in my class, all of which are very eager for the school year to end next month. Combine that with the fact that they have a sub, means they have been acting a little out of control. After a few days of struggling with them to get them to shut the eff up during their lessons, I finally had to resort to being the bad guy.

Today I introduced a new system where every time they do not follow my instructions or talk while I'm talking I put a line on the white board. Each line represents one minute they will lose during recess. I must say they were better behaved. Even so, for the first two minutes of recess I had 28 students glaring at me. That was a blast.

I will be at the school for all of next week. No one knows for sure when the teacher I'm subbing for will be back. So there is a chance they will need me to stay longer. I wasn't really thrilled when I heard this. But after being there for only 4 days I am happy to stay longer. All the teachers have been so incredibly nice and helpful. Plus, the more time I work now, the more money I'll make. Which has a direct positive correlation with the amount of time I will be able to spend traveling in the next few months.




Monday, November 8, 2010

Contract


Today I had an appointment at the my new job to sign my contract for next year. I was really excited to find out that I will most likely be teaching fifth grade. After my meeting with the bursar I was told the head of the junior (elementary) school wanted to meet with me. As it turns out, a fourth grade teacher is sick and will be out for two weeks. And guess who they want to fill her spot? Obviously it's me, otherwise why would I be writing about it. So I start tomorrow! From what I was told the students are working on the following things:

Language Arts: Writing informal letters
Social Studies: The Greeks
Science: The human heart

Not sure yet where they are in math, but I guess I will find out tomorrow.

At first, I was really hesitant to accept, mainly because I'm nervous. But this is a great opportunity for me to meet some of the teachers and learn how the school day is run.

Interesting side note: Here, there are three classes per grade. Barring any unforeseen complications, students remain in the same class, with the same group of students for grades pre-k through twelve.

So when they told me that if I like this group of students they will assign them to me for fifth grade, I was sold. It would be great to start the next school year already knowing a little about my students!

Now the fun part begins. I get to plan some fun games for tomorrow morning as a sort of 'let's get to know each other' activity.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Good News Again

On Wednesday I had a follow-up interview at a school I visited last week. After accepting and then declining a job, I was really excited to go on another interview. About 15 minutes into the interview I was offered a job! (In case you’re keeping track, that’s 3 interviews, 3 offers.) Of course I accepted the position. I will be teaching either 4th or 5th grade at a K-12 school that is a part of the British School Association. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s really called, but it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I have a job again!


This job greatly outranks both of the other positions I was offered before. Here’s why:

1) The school is actually located inside Santiago.

2) They offered me a lot more money.


I will be going back to the school on Monday to sign the contract.

And what’s even more important, is that once the contract is signed I can go back to planning my upcoming tour of Southern Chile.


See, I told you it was good news.