Colombia: Day Two
The day began a humid and sunny day in La Mesa. Navigating along the bumpy and dirt road to the Francisco Julian Olaya school, only five minutes away from my grandparents house. To our surprise, many more children arrived for today's class. Once someone new came in and got situated it seemed like another would arrive shortly after. This great turn out was exciting but also intimidating.
I started the day off with a review of yesterday's lesson so that the new children would have a chance to catch up. I went over the alphabet and numbers with the games that come along with it. I decided to mix things up with an introduction the song "BINGO." The old catchy tune that sparks childhood nostalgia.
Two years ago a boy named Johan was part of our 2013 Chicos and Kids English classes. His mother was worried about letting him attend our classes and unsure if he would be able to socialize with the other children. We made sure to make Johan feel included with the other children. His learning disability prevented him from speaking correctly. Today, that boy was replaced by a talkative and light-hearted Johan. I was very surprised to find that he still remembered what we had taught him two years ago. I am honestly so proud of his intellectual and personal growth. These are the types of stories that motivate me each and every day.
Unfortunately, there was a conflict on the soccer field between Bryan and Juan David. It was later resolved and the two apologized to each other. We want to teach our students how to resolve problems and forgive those who had been hurt.
At the end of recess, we gathered everyone up to take our essential group photo, looking back at our previous group pictures it is crazy to see how many chicos we have taught these past five years. In am so thankful for all the support and help we have received in order to make Chicos and Kids happen.
Being in a leadership position as a counselor/teacher at Chicos and Kids in Colombia gave me a sense of purpose. It made me feel older and wiser; as someone who the kids looked up to.
Stephanie was recently announced a 2015 Peace First Prize finalist for her work with Chicos and Kids. Her peacemaking work has been recognized nationally along with twenty-six other young peacemakers.
I originally planned on the last day of class to be Tuesday, but since the children had no school on Monday and the principal allowed them to come in anyways, we combined both classes into one. In the first two hours of class I planned on having our last lesson.
Today's lesson was crammed with A LOT of information! I let the students know before hand to stay alert and pay attention.
After our usual Good Morning Song and short review, we quickly got into learning the family members. I learned a tad bit myself in this lesson and from the children!
Most of today's class consisted of hair: hair types, lengths and colors.
We incorporated "I have" to create more sentences! Each student was assigned to construct an accurate sentence of what type of hair they had. Fortunately, everyone had a paper that they used as a reference which included the different hair types, lengths and colors. They could all use a break from taking notes!
Today was our third day of class already! Three days down, three more to go.
As for every class, we began with a short review. Having been taught a lot yesterday, there was a large quantity that was reviewed, so every person got the chance to go up to the board to match words or fill in the blanks at least twice.
It's 7:30 a.m. but I am wide awake and the children are ready to learn.
After the Good Morning Song and a short review of yesterday's first lesson, we jumped right into learning something new-verbs. I had a handful of verbs translated for them, but I also gave them the opportunity to ask me what verbs they wanted to know that I had not mentioned. The asking could have gone on forever!
A second mission I vow to achieve. . . . .
From my grandmother's house in Jutiapa, Guatemala, from my fathers side, we traveled to Huehuetenango, Guatemala, where my second grandmother lives, from my mother's side. Upon arriving, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were so enthusiastic about me teaching English classes! It really helped by giving me confidence and reassurance of teaching another English class.
Today was our final day of class. . .
I was filled with several different emotions; from sadness, to pure relief, to gratitude and pride.
Today's final day consisted of a large review, from the first day of class to yesterday's lesson, from simple colors, to creating complex sentences. I was so pleased with how they knew everything from the start!