Monday, November 18, 2013

School visit

For 2 months in 2010 and all of 2011 I taught English classes at a public boy’s school here in Berlín. I loved working at the boy’s school (most days) and I met so many wonderful students and teachers. Though I was myself a teacher, I learned so much about life, friendship, culture, and languages.

I made a trip to the boy’s school today to visit some of the teachers. The students are all out of school right now. School here runs from late January/early February to mid November. But the teachers are still there until December. And unfortunately, I learned that I’m going to miss the 9th grade graduation, which is this Thursday. Bummer!

Since I arrived in Berlin on November 7, I’ve run into several former students. On my way to the school today I again saw even more many former students. Whenever I see my students I stop to chat with them and ask how they are doing. I ask what grade they are in, what their grades are like, and if they are planning to continue with school. Most of them were doing okay in school and almost all planned to continue.

There was one boy who told me that he’d failed 7th grade. He said instead of repeating it he was going to drop out of school and start working. He’s 15 years old and plans to try to find work in San Salvador. I asked if he had family there and he told me he did. I encouraged him to continue with school, but said if he didn’t then I was still wishing him the best of luck.

When I got to the school I received a very warm welcome from everyone. It was wonderful seeing the teachers again. They weren’t all there but many of them were. We just sat in the office and chatted for over an hour. It was great to be able to joke around with them and talk about all that’s changed and all that hasn’t changed. A couple of the teachers have retired. I saw one of them, Irma, when I was walking around yesterday and got a chance to chat with her for a while. For the most part all the other teachers are doing very well and are enjoying teaching.

When it was time to say goodbye to the teachers I gave everyone a hug. We took pictures together and walked out together. Then they had me stand in from of the school and took my picture. We waved goodbye and I started the familiar walk back to the Pastoral House.

Since I’ve been here, I heard one question over and over again from my students and the teachers: When are you coming back to give us more English lessons? My response: “I just don’t know.” I do miss teaching and I wish I could come back and teach them again sometime, but I’m not sure that’s in the cards. But who knows. I never expected to end up teaching English in El Salvador for year in 2011. As the saying goes: We make plans, God laughs.

Climbing up the hill to my school

Some of my former students

They've grown up so much!

Yet still immature
(hanging out in a police vehicle)

Don Andres & Santos Roque

Maria Roxanna

Ana Abigail and Sylvia

Maria Helen

Melba & me
Maria Roxanna and me

Melba, me, Roxanna, & Abigail

The sign outside the school

In front of my school

Heading back down the hill



Matt said...

It is so great that you got to visit your school and see all the teachers. Hopefully you will be able to visit again in the future when the students are there as well.

Anonymous said...

I have fond memories of visiting the school and seeing all the kids. Hope to go back. Mom

Anonymous said...

I was once one of your students, I loved your class and I would do my best in each class I had. Now I'm thanks to God at MD, USA and hope to one day see my old school, teachers, you, and my old hometown once again.