First day of school! First day of school!

10 01 2012

An early morning blogging post for you as I head off to my second day of school.

Yesterday was our first day of school.  We all went to bed super early Sunday night and therefore pretty much all woke up at 5:30am to get ready for the day, even though we didn’t have anywhere to be until 7:30.  I really like being here with the other student teachers since we all have so much in common and it’s so fun to compare outfits and students and co-ops.

A little after 7 we headed to campus (literally a one-minute walk from our dorm) and met with Liz, the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre (I think that’s her title).  We met other women that work in the Teaching and Learning Centre (that’s right, everything is spelled the European/British way here) and they talked about their roles.  Then we met the Elementary Principal, Terry, and he walked each of us to our classes.  I was the last to get dropped off and had only met my co-op briefly when we ran into her at the market yesterday, so it was like we were meeting again.

My co-op’s name is Mandy and she’s really sweet.  This is her first year at AISJ and she came over from the States.  We met her during a prep period, so I also got to meet the three other 4th grade teachers since they do all their planning together.  It’s a nice camaraderie and definitely a great team effort to make sure all the students are getting similar lessons and activities.

After that I got to meet the students! The cap at this school is 17 students per class, and our fourth grade class has 16 students, and four of them were absent.  The class is SO diverse.  They are also SO adorable! I can’t wait to show you all pictures of my classroom.  We did an introductory “VIP” writing activity where the students all got to interview me for 10 minutes and then wrote a mini biography on me.  It was really sweet.

After writing, we worked on math (they’re working on multiplying two digit and three-digit numbers).  Then we went to lunch duty, and being in the elementary cafeteria is so interesting! In my own elementary days, pretty much everyone brought sandwiches, chips, and soups in a thermos.  Here, students bring food to microwave.  I saw everything from sandwiches to sushi to last night’s dinner, to lychee fruits.  It was really interesting.

After all that, we went to have a quick lunch and then went to the classroom after the students got back from recess.  Mandy read a story and the kids had independent reading time.  Then we had a science recap on the electricity unit the students were working on before break, and a closing meeting and homework assignment time.  The students are SO well behaved and all seem genuinely interested in learning. I can already pick out some low and high students and a math whiz in the class, so I’m excited to see what I can do for those students.

After school we met with Kaitlyn (our ‘social chair’) to go to the store so we could get a phone for while we’re here and pick up some other supplies.  It’s great to have her as a resource; without her we would really be lost! Then we had some dinner with all of us and hung out around campus and inside our dorm before turning in for an early night.

I’m sad to report that my grandmother passed away on Sunday the 8th in California.  The services are next week and there’s no possible way to get home in time (nor could I afford the plane ticket), and it’s breaking my heart that I can’t be there with my family at this time of loss.  I have never been so homesick.  My grandma lived a great life with 9 kids, many grandkids, and even great grandchildren.  She was well taken care of and we’re happy that her death ended her 2+ year battle with cancer, but it’s still pretty upsetting.  Needless to say, yesterday at school was pretty rough and it’ll continue to be that way. Mourning from a distance is never fun.

And so we’re off to our second day of school.  Hopefully I’ll be able to find my classroom without assistance today!

Until next time! Hopefully next post I can bring you some pictures I’ve been taking while I’m here.






3 responses

11 01 2012

My condolences for you Grandma, Truc-Lan — I’m guessing she was an amazing woman. She’s lucky to be loved by such a large family.

Otherwise, it sounds like your time in Africa has been quite an experience; I can’t wait for more!

13 01 2012

So sorry to hear about your Grandmother. I am sure she is now watching over you on your adventures and helping to keep you safe and having the time of your life.

16 01 2012

TL, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it must be very difficult for you. Remember that your grandmother must have been exceptionally proud of you for what you are doing right now. Here’s an air hug from me to you!

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