This morning I was greeted with hugs and “good morning” from my from 2nd grade class. I love getting hugs from my younger kids and I was pleased that they remembered how to say good morning. They are a smart group of kids and very well-behaved considering their age. I credit their teacher, Milagro, with the accomplishment of that feat!
I was also very pleased in my 4th grade class today when the teacher, Melba, corrected my grammar in Spanish. This is the second time this year that Melba has corrected me and I am glad she feels comfortable enough to do so. I think many times people don’t want to correct me, or gringos in general, because they don’t want to be offensive. And I understand that. I don’t like to correct the grammar of the teachers when they try to say something in English. But when I’m corrected it helps me learn proper Spanish and I need all the help I can get! The same thing goes for me helping the teachers. So I thanked her for correcting me. She is a good teacher!
I was surprised to see the original teacher of my third grade section B class, Silvia, back at school. She’s been gone almost a month. I saw her on my first day of teaching and I hadn’t seen her since until now. For a while the class had a young, female teacher but then she left and another teacher took over. I wasn’t for sure what was going on until another teacher told me that Silvia had surgery. I’m not sure why she had surgery (and I thought it’d be rude to ask) but I am glad she’s back. The kids seem to be doing a better job now that their regular teacher has returned. I noticed a difference in class right away. Their seats had been rearranged and they did a better job paying attention too. Well, they did better for a while. Then one of the kids decided to chew on/eat his pen during class which resulted in ink all over his face and the other kids laughing hysterically. It took a while to get the room under control after that.
In my 5th grade class I again had to explain to the kids that there are some words I will not teach them. Oftentimes the kids ask me how to say different words in English. Today they wanted me to teach them the word “kiss.” The teacher of the class has little trophies on her desk with people on them. One of the boys made the trophies kiss and asked me how to say that (kissing) in English. I told him I was not going to tell him. You may be wondering why I would not teach the class how to say kiss. Two words: Cat calls. I hear them enough already just walking around town, and I don’t want the kids I’m teaching to learn how to disrespect women from me. True, they will probably learn the word from someone else in the future but they will NOT learn it from me.
This is the same class that tried to get me to teach them the word “shit” (excuse my language) a couple weeks ago. They already had an idea about how to say the word but they wanted me to say it. When they mispronounced the word I told them that if they couldn’t say it correctly then they shouldn’t say it at all.
Later in the day today I learned that we wouldn’t be having classes on Friday. It did not come as a shock; remember, go with the flow. The director told me that they were going to be having some kind of games throughout the school. I think it’s something like school Olympics or relays. I remember doing that in elementary school. Even though I’m not obligated I’d like to go to the games to see what the kids are doing. I am going to confirm with another teacher that there won’t be classes just in case. I’ve learned from past experience that I need to double or triple check when we’re having special events, meetings, etc. Yep. It’s just another day at school here in Berlín.