Tuesday, February 23, 2010

School Days

Saludes a Todos!

Well, the school year is well under way and every day is an adventure. I am teaching English class two days a week and computer class one day a week. I teach both subjects to all six grades. This year, the boys from La Villa San Antonio (our elementary school boys boarding facility) are attending the same school as the girls from Guadalupe. It has definitely been an adjustment for everyone now that we have more boys that girls in the class when last year there were a lot more girls than boys.

There are a lot of new students this year and all the teachers were worried that it would cause a problem in the classes. But once again, the kids have shone like stars at the beginning of the year. The first day, many of the new students would not even talk. They were very confused and visibly nervous. It was easy to tell who was new. But after the first day, some of the "old" students started befriending the new students, explaining things to them, helping them with their work, etc. Now, a little over a week into the school year, it is much harder to tell which students are in their first year here and which ones aren't. One thing I will never get tired of is seeing the tremendous love our kids have in their hearts and how willing they are to share it with others, even someone who may be "different."

The English classes that I am teaching are going pretty well. It is difficult because some of the students have been here for several years and therefore know some English and some of the new kids have never spoken a word of English in their lives. For the most part, the kids love learning English. They always tell me what a "strange" language it is. But we play games and do activities to make it fun, so they love English class even if it a little bit difficult for them. I am amazed by how quickly some of the students pick it up. There are a few that if I teach them a word one time, they will remember it forever. It really speaks to the fact that some people are naturally gifted in certain areas. Once the kids learn a new word, they are very proud of their new knowledge. I love when they come up to me and start using the vocabulary or grammar they have learned.

Computer class is the class that most of the kids look forward to all week. Right now, we only have six working computers and some of the classes have 35 kids. Figuring out how to give them all a chance to use the computer in a 40 minute class has been a challenge. I was so scared the first day of computer class. I was sure that it was going to be a disaster, especially since I was loosing my voice and could not talk much at all. However, God must have been watching over me, because the classes went better than I ever could have expected. The kids can sense when they have to be on their best  behavior and thankfully I had one kid in each class who wanted to act as my "translator." I whispered the instruction and they repeated them to the whole class. I am actually really excited to go more "in depth" with computer class this year. The kids love it so much and know that it is a privilege to be there, so they are generally very well-behaved in class. I think I even found a way to print things that they make on the computer, so they will finally be able to see the finished product that a computer can generate.

Please continue to pray for our children, especially those who may be feeling homesick. We continue to pray for all of our supports.

Peace and Blessings,