First week of teaching officially done! Although it wasn’t actually a full week since Monday I didn’t teach and tomorrow I have the day off so I can go get my carnet (my official Chilean identification card since I am a temporary resident).
So I will quickly recap my week at school:
Monday – I went to school, found my classroom, rearranged the desks, and set up my whiteboard with the plan for the first day of classes. Introductions and games. Couple hours after I was there doing all of this, I found out my co-teacher is not at school, and as a result, the kids do not have english class. So they sent me home. I was still going to try to have my english classes (since we separate the classes into a group with my co-teacher and the other half with me) but then we decided to wait. 1st day… nothing. haha.
Tuesday – LONG DAY. 3 groups of 2º classes (sophomores), 1 small group of 3º (juniors), and 2 groups of 4º (seniors). My 2º students are going to be the most difficult. Not just because there are some students that are a little less behaved, but because their classes are the largest, so I work with groups of 19 or so at a time, when everyone comes to school. It’s so much easier to have class with a smaller group – less distractions, easy to maintain their attention and have everyone participate. But for the most part, going over the class rules, trying to get them motivated and interested in learning, and then playing a name game went over well. I only had 1 student not want to participate, and another who well, tried to sleep in class and so I had to make him leave. Generally, I don’t think it will be as bad as I had been warned. But then again, I’m glad I was warned because I think the only reason they don’t seem as bad is because I was bracing myself for so much worse haha.
Wednesday – No classes on Wednesday! I did some lesson planning and made review sheets in the morning, then went to school in the afternoon for a teacher’s meeting and English club time. At the teachers meeting, I introduced myself, and then sat through about 45 minutes of spanish – I understood some, but not all. I think I did get the general idea though, but who knows. No one came for my English club 😦 but we’ll see… try again next week.
Thursday – Today! Four 2º classes and one 4º class. 4º HC PD class was great, it’s a really small group because it’s those who elect to take extra english class for 3 hours a week in addition to the regular 4 hours with the larger group of 4º HC. My 2º classes in the morning were okay, I can tell I have kids that want to mess around in class a lot, but we’ll see… Just aiming to keep them BUSY so they don’t have time for that. I think that really is the trick. haha. They listen to me when I’m talking but when the spotlight isn’t on them during the game or I have them work on their own in groups, it gets a little crazy. I’d rather give them time to practice in small groups but I don’t know if that’ll happen because they just don’t do anything then. And in the afternoon, my 2º classes are apparently the worst, but they weren’t too bad today, although I finally had a marker stolen. 😦 But maybe it was also because half of the kids in my classes skipped class.
But mostly, students have been good, they seem to respect me, I just need to figure out a balance lesson plan because I have such a range of skill levels in each group – some have barely any english, others are pretty advanced, and if they are lost or aren’t challenged, they go crazy. So I need a good place in the middle that can still help the ones that are behind without boring the ones that know it already. Hopefully the “review” topics can go quickly…
I thought of more things for my care package wishlist – cheetohs, cheese nips (anything with cheese, I’m dying here), american tea! (thought it could be a nice gift to share with my host family since we have tea twice a day… maybe some good cinnamon apple kinds?), marshmallows, hersheys chocolate bars, and graham crackers (I want to make smores too), peanut butter, nutella…. and if anyone is feeling ambitious, fixings to make rice krispie treats!!
Overall… everything is great! I started making my plans for travel here in Chile. I think we’re going to go to San Pedro de Atacama around the día de la independencia when we have Thursday afternoon and Friday off of school, and stop in Calama on the way to see the worlds largest copper mine. I think world’s largest, if not, then at least the country’s. Then in San Pedro there are geysers, salt flats, Valley of the Moon, and potential for sandboarding! So I can’t wait for that. Possibly Iquique, another coastal city in the north that is supposed to have great surfing, in October when I have a day off for Mejillones’ anniversary. If not then, another weekend in November before we leave the north. I was told again today to try to go to La Serena which I’m really sad I won’t be able to make it to…. but oh well. I will get my full intake of lakes as well as volcanos when I head south after the program is over. There are a few places I want to stop at on the way to Patagonia, and then hopefully will be heading north through Argentina!