Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last day of school

I finally had my last day of school. I wasn’t totally for sure what to expect although I did think I would get a little emotional. I was supposed to have five classes today but that didn’t happen. I went to my first class as usual. I read a couple books that are in English and Spanish. And then I had the kids demonstrate that they knew the colors in English by using candy (What color is this piece of candy?) When we’d finished that I let the kids write the name of an animal on the whiteboard and then I translated it into English. We had a great last class.

There weren’t many kids in my third grade section A class today. Since I didn’t have a chance to play Loteria with them last week we ended up playing today. Then I also had them tell me the colors using candy and we wrote on the whiteboard. In my other third grade class even fewer kids were there. I guess going to school the last few days is optional. So we worked on colors with the candy and discussed animals, but mostly we just talked and goofed around. It was a really relaxed day and I love just hanging out with the kids and chatting with them.

One of the most memorable things I did today involved my shirt. I had worn a pink shirt that I bought specifically for today for the kids in my classes to sign. I had my students that were in school today sign my shirt. As a tradition, the ninth graders my the school have others sign their shirts since they all go to high school next year which means a different uniform/different shirt. I know that was fun for them and I used to do the same thing when I was a camp counselor. So I figured my students would like it too. It was a ton of fun! I had them only write their first name because if they wrote all four names there wouldn’t be room on my shirt. Most of the kids followed the “only your first name” rule, but a few wrote their second name or drew something. But that’s okay. It makes the shirt special.

My second grade class

With the second grade teacher

Cleaning the classrooms

Helping out

Bulletin board at my school

Some of my second graders

Cleaning off the door


Some of my third graders

Playing Loteria

Very cute

About 1/3 of the class was there

Posing for the camera

Then they piled on the ground

One of the moms of my second graders had brought a piñata for the class. When I heard about it I went to watch and get pictures. They all wanted me to hit the piñata. I didn’t want to take away from their fun so I squatted down to make myself shorter and I didn’t hit it that hard. Then it was the kid’s turn. As I’m sure you can imagine, it can be dangerous when one kid is swinging a stick around near a group of other kids. But no one got hit, thank goodness. And soon the piñata burst open with all the kids falling to the floor to collect the candy.

After that it was fourth period of the day. But the class I was to teach in wasn’t there. They were getting ready for a special lunch they’d be having around noon which I was invited to. And my fifth period class had already gone. So I just hung around the school talking to people and having kids sign my shirt until lunch. Several of the fourth graders had so much fun signing my shirt that they wanted me to sign their arms. So on one arm I wrote “Alisha USA” and when they wanted another autograph I wrote “Alicia ES” which is my Spanish name and El Salvador (ES).

The pinata!

Waiting for the fun to start

There I go

The first kid

Some candy fell out

Spectators having fun too

Swing away

Whack that pinata!

More candy fell out

Having way too much fun

Someone's gonna get hurt

Who's next?

Be careful

He hit it really hard

Getting the rest of the candy out

They wanted to take a picture of me

Too cute

A few more third graders

Finally it was noon and time for the lunch to begin. Several of the moms of the class had volunteered to make lunch for the group. They brought in a pot of fresh pineapple juice, salad, rice, chicken, and tortillas. I helped hand out the drinks and then the teachers asked me to take pictures of all the students. I went around and took pictures of everyone. Then I sat down and ate lunch with them.

After lunch it was time for ice cream. Cecilia, whose son is in the class, had brought a huge box of ice cream. I helped her scoop it out and into cups for all the kids. Once all the kids got ice cream we served the moms. Several kids came back for seconds. Amazingly, we managed to go through all of the ice cream. Soon the kids began to take off. I said goodbye and helped clean up. The lunch with ice cream was a great way to end the final day of school.

Writing my name on their arms

The teacher talking to the class

Fresh pineapple juice

Serving up salad

Chicken and rice

Very cool

Look at the camera

We want to eat

Lookin' good


Hello there

Please don't take my picture

More of the teachers from the school

Yes, I want your photo too

Handing out napkins

Another photo!

In mid-chew

His younger brother is also in the class

One of three girls that goes to the school

Posing for the camera

Marvin, Cecilia's son

Bunny ears

My plate of food

Scooping up ice cream

The ice cream line

He wanted a picture of him eating

More please

There's Marvin again

Lots of ice cream

Although I fully expected to cry, I didn’t. I’m not sure why. I’ve definitely been teary the past couple weeks and worried about how I’d do with classes over. Last year on my last day of school I teared up during one of my classes. I wonder if it’s because I taught significantly longer this year than last; even though I’m really sad and will miss my students a lot, it seems more natural for classes to be ending. I taught the kids a lot and I learned a lot myself. All in all it was a great school year. Unforgettable.

I’ll be seeing the teachers again in a few days for a special outing so I’ll write about them at that time.

The front of my shirt

The back of my shirt

Marvin and me