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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First day jitters

Today we taught our first day of school at Itzapa. There is an afternoon and a morning class and I taught the little tikes during both sessions. Their level is somewhere between kindergarten and grade one and the ages of the kids vary, as do their abilities. Some can write their names while for others success was in holding their pencil. This makes for challenging lessons and short attention spans. I was lucky enough to shadow two current volunteers who are quite fluent in Spanish however today we learned vowels, colored, and practiced writing letters and names, so I was able to keep up (almost)….

Troy taught a class at about the grade 4 level in the morning and grade 3 in the afternoon. He also shadowed some current volunteers to get his feet wet. In the morning he got to teach about hormones and was delighted to draw the reproductive organs on the chalkboard…. what are the chances?! In the afternoon, the students were convinced that he was John Cena (a WWF wrestler for those not in the know). An all around successful day if you ask Troy!

Break time was our favorite as, when we were not peeling oranges for the kids, we were being climbed on, being pulled around, throwing kids in the air, being hugged, and listening to the giggles that followed the revelation that Troy and I were married (which naturally lead to pictures of hearts with our names in it on the chalk boards...). Adorable.

Some of the kids were learning about time and clocks and we learned that some of them had been up since 4am working in the fields before school. Tomorrow I will embrace the morning and be grateful for ‘sleeping in’ until 6:30.


  1. Welcome to the fraternity of teachers! A noble and true profession. You will soon find one of the laws of teaching junior high is that no matter what you draw on the board, it will look like a reproductive organ whether intended or not. Good luck!

  2. Nothing beats the smiles and hugs freely given from a small child! Have sooo much fun with your teaching guys and you seem to have already figured out that it is way more fun to teach KIDS than numbers and letter!! :)

  3. Enjoyed the "square to spare" entry. Also happy to hear you'll be able to keep up on the NFL (even though no Packers or Broncos). Take the $20 you owe me and buy a whole roll. Mark