Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Miss Miss Miss"

Today marks day 34. I think the other teachers would agree we are still in a bit still in shock that we are living here, yet so many things seem so normal.

Wednesday evening we sat around and reminisced over dinner at the nearby D&D Brewery sharing our favorite memories for the past month. I changed my mind nearly ten times, we have so much to be grateful for and I am feel very lucky to have tens of things to say that have been my favorite. I have swam in the Caribbean sea twice, went caving at the waterfall Pulhapanzak, shopping in San Pedro Sula 3 times, had four weeks of classes with the kids, taken the public bus many times , went to the Honduran club dancing, seen the doctor at the clinic, taught swim lessons to kids.... the list goes on....

This week at school I worked hard to take my kids through lessons and learn. I have a new understanding why the kids are far behind, this country has so many dang holidays! Although I love having a day off, you can imagine why these children come out of school knowing so little when half of the school year is a day off of school or some parade/ celebration day. For example next Friday we have the day off, October 5, 2012. The next Friday after that October 12 we have the day off as well. This week was the first five day week we have had at our school because of days off. Ladies and gentlemen this is only week 4.

Another thing I have learned in addition to a great deal of patience (you can read about this here) is that Teaching is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Many people have asked me what led me to quit my job at Graebel as a relocation consultant to teach in Honduras. A number of things influenced my decision. I enjoyed my job at Graebel, it was hard work, challenging, stressful, and I worked with some of the greatest people I know, but no matter how hard I thought that job was at times nothing has compared to the teaching position I am in right now.

In just four short weeks I have learned that teaching has very little to do with how well I know the material, how fancy our books are, the technology or resources I have but rather my ability to be patient, to observe the children's ability to respond to material, to meet their needs, to discipline in the classroom and to make each child believe in themselves. The most challenging part of all is the last one. If a child does not think they are worth anything, it is very difficult to make them believe that you do. I have one child who has a reputation in the school as one of the worst behaved. He does not often do work and is constantly out of his seat, playing with things.  I have taken a vested interest in this child, God has seen to it that he be in my class and that if nothing else that I love him well. Although he can ruin a sometimes perfectly calm moment in the classroom by disrupting, he shows glimpses of hope. He loves attention and when he completes his work he gets so excited. His face lights up. He holds up his paper and begins shouting "MISS! MISS! MISS!". He did not have his books for a long time (Often because parents have not paid tuition so they do not give the textbooks out) and when he got his brand new books he came running to me to show me. "MISS MISS MISS".

I never want to forget even the simplest of things about this place. In my third grade class today I was reviewing English homework and one of the girls did not have her book. As I asked her Why she did not have her book, she gathered her words and said, "Miss, Miss I did not have light at my house." This my friends is not an excuse you can argue with. The power here comes and goes as often as the sun rises and sun sets. We loose our power nearly every day and their is no guarantee we will ever get it back for hours at a time. I smiled and said ok and we continued with the lesson.

My class performed our two songs for my sister over Factime. My kids were so excited and I so enjoyed showing them off to my sister. They gave a proper "Hi Miss Brittany" and then they giggled. They sang loud and got distracted from seeing themselves on the screen but they loved it.

As well I should note that the parents during Recreo/lunch/Recess drive up next to the fence of recess and bring their children a hot lunch. Parents then stand their and often wait until school is out to gather their children and leave. I always wonder don't you have something else to do? Why not take this time without your kids for yourself. (Silly Hondurans)

I buy my fruit and vegetables from the stand that is owned by three students who are on Scholarship to the school. The family is so nice and they always pick the best of their produce for us. I laughed with them on Thursday while trying to teach them the names of common fruit and veg in English. I am a week into my Paleo 30 day cleanse and feel incredible. I have so much energy and have enjoyed experimenting with cooking. I roasted cabbage and it was so good. I have cooked chicken, and Matt cooked vegetables and tomatoes to make a Italian sauce we placed over the chicken. It was so delicious.

I am currently lesson planning over coffee on this beautiful Saturday morning. Allison and I at half past seven walked for an hour in town and through the village and Faye and I now escaped our humble abode to get outside and plan.

Prayers are with all of you this Saturday. May you find as much joy in the simplest things and even those that do not go as planned, knowing full well that God is the great orchestrator of making everything good.

Cheers to you
Love Miss Kristina

“Past boldness is no assurance of future boldness. Boldness demands continual reliance on God's spirit.” 

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