- Chilean schools… look like prisons. Gates everywhere.
- There are really long breaks in between classes.
- Kids do whatever they want. Listen to music, talk on their cell phones, come in late, come and go from the classroom, yell across the room, fight… and it’s all fiiiiiine
- No one except the one English teacher speaks any English. I am SO lucky he at least does! (Since many english teachers actually don’t)… but it’s still difficult to communicate sometimes.
- Again, everyone assumes I don’t understand any spanish… but I do… they just talk too fast and don’t ENUNCIATE. Ever. Pronunciation is so hard to hear! Example, a bratty 5th grader talked SO SLOW to me, but I still couldn’t understand because the enunciation is so hard to hear.
- Everyone at the school wants me to work with Basico (elementary) but I want to work with the high schoolers!!
Reasons? For one, there is no basico teacher right now, so I’d pretty much be on my own. Otherwise, they wanted me to continue observing basico classes until they get the new teacher which will happen… sometime in the semester. ha! And I really think that it will be easier for me to deal with the high schoolers. I think my lack of spanish means I should work with OLDER students, not younger, because younger students are hard to control ANYWHERE and have even less of what little english any of them may know. I’ve observed 5th, 8th, (both in spanish) and 10th grade classes so far… I liked 10th the most so far. Even if there are still problematic students, they are at least CAPABLE of understanding and being respectful, it’s more a matter of setting and enforcing rules, and making the class interesting and relevent to them so they’ll want to learn… yeah? Maybe I have it all wrong, but it makes sense for me to work with the older students anyways since the elementary teacher does not exist right now. I am going to go observe a 12th grade class this afternoon though, so maybe I’ll change my mind after that!!
I am going to Antofagasta tomorrow and Friday afternoon for some English Opens Doors programs, so I will try to get some input from the program coordinators then on what to do at my school. Hoping to have a schedule set for me on Thursday, but in the meantime, I like observing the classes and getting an idea of how the students are.
***More stories from today and yesterday that I forgot to share***
- In the 5th grade class… A boy was dragged across the floor on his back. No big deal.
- In the 12th grade class (4º media), everyone just got up and had their backpacks on for ohhh a good last 20 minutes of the class, and walked in and out of the room, the teacher sat outside of the classroom on a bench in the sun, and I’m pretty sure ended the class 45 minutes early.
- DO NOT let them teach you spanish. My first 8th grade class was having a repeat after me game, and then I realized I had no idea what they were teaching me to say… probably something inappropriate.
- DO NOT say you like someone. Even if you only say it as opposed to NOT liking them, they giggle and think you mean you want to date the other teachers.
- On a happier note, yesterday I got a note that said: I Love You Miss Forever, and today I got a picture of a butterfly drawn for me (good thing the kids were hard at work in class right?) with Bien benida (meaning bienvenida or Welcome) a Mejillones… De: Poloma Rojas Leiva, Para: La Profesora de Ingles. That made me very happy. And the high schoolers are cute too when they try to talk to me…. Oh how I love having the power to make people use their skills in another language like I have to do in spanish haha.
And now unrelated to school, there is a little skatepark in Mejillones. I think I will go there in my free time and watch kids skateboard like a creep… but it just makes me happy. As does being addressed as Usted.