Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 23
Monday morning we wake up on the night train. The morning before, we had woken up in the jungle. We make a quick stop at the guest house to shower, eat, and pack for school. In my haste to pack, I forgot my flash cards. This left me a little strapped for material when I got to school. Furthermore today I had mostly younger kids. Any lull in the action and they might get distracted. And if I lose them, they’re always hard to get back. Things were bumpy. But I think that I had productive classes. It appears that some of the first grades have memorized the complete text of “Brown Bear.” The book is short and formulaic, but this is still impressive considering that some of the kids who’ve memorized it don’t speak hardly any English. Sixth grade was my best class of the day. 5th grade and up are easier because if I get in to a pinch, “Simon Says” is both what they all actually want to be doing, and a good time filler.
Today was also our first day back at Seams. There are only three of us now (Stephen, Lucy, and me). This makes teaching considerably more difficult. Even small groups (of either gender) quickly become too violent with each other for us to be very effective. My objective is to teach the alphabet to the only two boys and the school that don’t know them yet. This sounds simple enough. But this means that they have to learn the names and relative order of 26 unfamiliar symbols. Lucy is doing the same with the only girl in the children’s’ home who is still unfamiliar with the language. We‘re both progressing, but slower than we’d like.