Friday, June 3, 2016
Serena and I both went to school today because one of the English teachers wasn’t going to be there so she was filling in. When we first got there Sophia saw me in the hallway and told me good morning in English! I’m so proud of her! We went on to sixth grade where Serena would be teaching and where I spent most of the morning. At one point I went to visit 2nd grade where Lizbeth was teaching. Lizbeth has really been taking advantage of me being there by not being afraid to stop and ask me questions during class and taking the time to ask proper pronunciation and grammar outside of class time. She left me with the class for a couple minutes to go make a copy. They were having game time so it was no big deal, or so I thought.
No big deal except for this one kid. He came up to me and rambled off something in Spanish. I think he was trying to tell me that the other boys wouldn’t let him play their game. I tried to offer solutions but he just stared at me blankly and nodded his head. So I said something else and again he just nodded his head and smiled. Finally I tried Spanish and asked if he understood what I was saying. This time he shook his head no. So we both laughed and I apologized and he walked away. I think some of these kids almost feel sorry for me.
After lunch I went to Third grade with Aline. I ended up teaching their lesson again today. It still feels weird to stand in front of so many kids and ask them questions and write on the board and stuff. But it’s really fun to be teaching them something and having “Teacher Brianna” shouted all over the classroom. They are no longer afraid to talk to me, ask me questions, and have me check their work.
I am especially proud of this one little girl, Natalia. Every day at school so far she has come up to me, said something in Spanish, and when I would tell her to say it in English she would walk away annoyed. She talks so fast I honestly never knew what she was saying. But today was different. She approached me and rambled off something in Spanish, and when I routinely told her to say it in English she didn’t walk away, but instead she tried to figure out how to say what she wanted in English. If she couldn’t figure it out on her own she would ask a classmate to help her. Throughout the day we were able to talk more and more. If she is the only Third grader that learns any English from me then I have still accomplished something.
At the end of the school day on Fridays the kids always have an extended recess. During recess today Natalia asked me to play with them. So I was working the desk at their imaginary hotel. I was in charge of greeting each student (guest) as they entered and assigning them a room and making their key card. At one point I pulled out my phone to take a picture of the kids playing. Then they swarmed me.
I opened snap chat and they thought the different filters, especially face swap, were fascinating. I had to swap faces with almost every kid in the room, and Aline. They were in this giant mob all around me tapping my arms and touching my hair. I really don’t know how to explain a mob of third graders. It’s one of those things where you just have to be there.
Out of nowhere one of the kids got really close to my face and started shouting in Spanish until more kids joined him. After a brief moment of terror on my part he said, “You have the color in your eyes.” At first I was puzzled. But I took a closer look at each of them and realized that they all have brown eyes. It is very likely that many of them, if not all, have never seen anyone that didn’t have brown eyes. I love finding little things like that that bring me closer to these kids. They may find me fascinating, but to me, they’re a wonder.
This evening we had a prayer meeting where I was able to practice saying my praises and prayer requests in Spanish. Every time there is a meeting I ask them to pray for my Spanish. I want to be able to talk with everyone here so badly.