Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where does the time go?

Wow! It has been forever since I have written.

So, some days I have wondered where did the time here go, while others the time just doesn´t seem to move quick enough.

We are almost at the end of the program with only two days left. Today was our last day teaching and on Saturday we will be doing a clean up project with the students at their school. It has been a wonderful learning experience in every aspect. It has been filled with challenges as well as opportunities. I will try to describe highlights so far.

Working with the children has been fantastic. Absolutely exhausting but fantastic. The first week of the program we learned all of the lessons and worked on putting together the materials needed for the lessons. The following week we began teaching. The lessons included Adaptation, Literature and Comprehension, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Music, English, Basic Japanese using art, Leadership, How to Thrive, and I believe that is it. Teaching definitely posed its challenges but it has been so rewarding. We taught at four different schools, three days for each. We teach in pairs usually one local with one foreigner. Typically we break up a large class into small groups of 2-4 students in each group. In such a small group it is very easy to teach student-centered education and truly be able to cater the lessons to the needs of the students. The teachers hand their classrooms over to us and we lead for the 1-2 hour class period.

It is so hard to fall in love with the children and then leave after just 3 days. Typically, the children would give us a hard time during the first day and then by the second they would remember most of our names and beg for us to teach them again! On the first day of teaching one class one of the students in my group was very challenging. He would leave the circle, refuse to do what we were asking, distract other students, etc. Yet, with patience and flexibility by the end he was participating in the lesson. Then, the next day when we came back he ran up to me and gave me a giant hug and said, ¨Liza Liza will you teach my class today?¨ (in Spanish) When I told him I was teaching a different classroom he proceeded to hand onto my hand and walk me to his classroom announcing, Ït´s ok you can teach my class again just follow me¨. That was the best feeling to know that while he initially did not like the class, by the end he was begging for more. I have so many stories about the children but I will just have to tell more stories in person. In conclusion, each and every student has taught me so much and they have truly filled my heart with joy even amongst difficulties.

I think for time´s sake I will have to leave the descriptions of Costa Rica and the fieldtrips as well as group dynamics for a different post. By the way, in 10 days I will be back home!

Miss you all so much!

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