Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Final Trimester of the Year

Well, we're almost half way through the final trimester of the school year and while it's pretty late to say this, I have a new goal: write in this blog once a week. It's been difficult for me to write a blog post lately for two reasons. One, time is not on my side. Two, it seems impossible to narrow down everything I'm experiencing here to just a page on a blog. Although like I said, it's a goal, so here it goes.

In this third trimester I find myself teaching all new classes. With my segundo ciclo (my second graders) I have an art class, and a music class. With my tercero ciclo (ninth graders) I have a social studies class and an accounting class. Teaching these classes have been so enjoyable because I'm learning the information along with them. While I considered myself a good student in high school, I COMPLETELY forgot any and all information about the cold war. I mean really, when was I ever going to have to know that again? It's not like I was one day going to find myself teaching it to eleven girls in Honduras. But as life would have it, here I am, relearning it and really enjoying it too!

Social studies is also one of my favorite classes for how many times the girls say things completely ridiculous. When we started the course, I showed them a map of the world and asked one of my students where Europe was. She looked at the map in deep concentration for about a minute and when she finally looked up at me, she confidently proclaimed, "You have a bad map. Europe isn't on here." It was also slightly amusing to see how long it took them to find their own country on a map. Although my favorite part about teaching maps was how defensive they got over the size of their country. They were FURIOUS when they discovered Spain was a bigger country than Honduras, and they were in a fierce debate over which continent was bigger: their own continent of America or Asia. (I should clarify things a bit by mentioning that in Honduras, they're taught that North America and South America are one continent called America.) There was also one class where an innocent enough discussion over the positive and negative aspects of tourism in Honduras turned into a heated argument about whether or not tourism was beneficial at all to their country. Even though they may have silly answers or silly preconceived notions, it is an incredible experience to watch them learn, to watch them think for themselves, and to see them explore their curiosity.