Thursday, February 12, 2009

Roses, Red Hearts, and Sugar-Highs

Happy early Valentine´s Day! Today Valentine´s Day was celebrated at the school, because it´s our last school day of the week (tomorrow we are handing out grades, so no, I don´t get out of not coming to school. Instead of teaching, I will be sitting behind a table talking to parents all day!). I don´t know how everyone got the memo (I didn´t hear anything), but all the students came to school wearing jeans instead of their uniforms. My kids are so cute dressed in normal clothes (not that they´re not cute in their uniforms of course), and I tood double-takes on a couple of them!

The tenth graders wandered around the school handing out roses, hearts, and mugs full of candy that the kids had bought for each other. I love the energy of the holiday, but I did have trouble focusing my first graders on school work. I´m fairly certain that more than one of them was on a sugar-high (usually they were the ones clutching their giant mugs of chocolate)! But it´s days like today that gives a break from the normal ¨grind¨ and routine.

I hope everyone enjoys Valentine´s Day and sees it as a day to do something special for someone else (and not merely as singles´ awareness day)!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Small Moments

Sometimes I realize it is the small moments that are so powerful. Yesterday after school I had a couple of those moments. I was checking the first grade math books in the classroom when one of my smallest first grade boys approached me with a paperback storybook in Spanish. He started showing me the pictures and began reading me the story, stumbling every now and then. I wish I could have taken a picture of his small frame bent over the desk I was sitting at, leaning over with such concentration and reading in his cute little voice!

Just as I was about to head out the door, two of my seventh grade boys enthusiastically began begging me to stay to supervise them for an hour while they played soccer (apparently they´re not allowed out back unless they´re supervised). Before I knew it I was surrounded by 5 or 6 boys, some of whom I had never seen before, all begging, ¨Please Miss! Please! Just one hour or thirty minutes. Please Miss!¨. Of course, the more pleading faces I saw, the harder it was for me to leave them in that state. I agreed and suddenly had ten very eager boys ready to escort me to a seat outside with exclaimations of, ¨Oh thank-you Miss!¨.

Neither of these moments were huge, but they filled my heart with warmth nonetheless and brought sunshine to my day (believe it or not, it´s been cloudy and cold lately, but I´m not exactly complaining).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Typical Day

It´s February, the month of love! I don´t know why I´m so excited except that the change of month is refreshing. With nothing new really happening around here (I just finished turning in the rest of my grades today. Whoo hoo!), it occurred to me that perhaps I have not enlightened most of you on what a typical day is like.

5:20 A.M.- rise and shine!
6:40 A.M.- depart the house to walk to the school, roughly 8 blocks away, on the ¨boulevard¨(one of the main streets)
6:50 A.M.- staff worship in the 2nd B classroom
7:10 A.M.- first class begins (I teach roughly 6 classes a day and supervise for two periods, lunch and recess)
2:10 P.M.- end of school, beginning of grading
3:30 P.M.- cook, melt into a puddle, or do something productive
5:30 P.M.- eat supper with all the missionaries (there are two houses, and we take turns). After supper is worship
8:30 P.M.- drift away into dream-land.....ah.....

Well, there it is. So now you know what great and marvelous things I have been doing down here! Have a happy Tuesday!