Whew! It’s been a minute since I last wrote!
Since my last post, I have been working at the American International School of Lusaka in the 1st grade as a long term sub for a teacher who left on paternity leave to the states. I don’t know why God does it, but he keeps handing me positions either in the very young category or the ‘acting young but look old’ (high school) category. The only difference between the two are that one group is cute and cuddly, while the other…not so much.
I do enjoy the school very much and have enjoyed the chance at working in a non-denominational institution. I didn’t think that I would really notice much of a difference between having worked at and attended church schools, BUT there’s a difference.
I don’t start my mornings with prayers…so it’s weird for me because that was kind of how I would calm the class, prepare them for the day and let them know we are starting. Now? We do a version of prayer by sitting in our desks and sitting quietly and calmly with the lights out. We close our eyes and I take them on a journey through the woods, or the beach, etc. You might even call it morning meditation or mindfulness. And since I can’t openly pray for them, I compliment them each, one at a time, in the morning during our center time. I give them a sticker and tell them how awesome they are. It’s been pretty interesting to see how they react because even my ‘coolest’ kid who acts too cool for school, he’ll remind me that I need to give out my compliments. I’m hoping it will be infectious because first grade can be rough. It’s life skills down here! There’s still manners and emotions and attitudes being learnt at this stage. Math, writing, reading, and science are just mere fillers of the day. When something ‘bad’ happens to one of my kids, it’s like their whole world is ending. It’s frustrating yet endearing to see how much emotion they can go through in the span of just a few minutes. They can be in tears complaining about so-and-so not being their friend, to accepting an apology, to hugging it out, to saying they are best friends now. We as adults could learn a thing or two from that! Haha!
Incredible really… leaves me flabbergasted every time!
Other than that, they really are cute and they come from all over the world, Jordan, Denmark, Germany, England, America, South Africa and Zambia. I’ve got loads of accents and backgrounds coming at me and I love it! However, it can be a challenge when teaching them to read and write because how do you explain that the word ‘letter’ isn’t spelled ‘letta’ to a British kid. (You might have to say it out loud to hear it…) I usually let it be when I realize that I can understand their version of writing with their context. Right now, I just want them to write, because the spelling will come later with more reading and exposure to words.
Now that I’ve throughly bored you with first grade talk, I would like to say that I have accepted a teaching position at yet another school for the following school year, Baobab College. Now, it’s not an actual college that we in America would understand it to be, but it’s a British school, and everything over there is deemed a college apparently. The position is for, yet again, a ‘key stage 1’ grade, meaning either Kinder or First grade. Their terms are all different and they call periods at the end of sentences ‘full stops’. It’s all very Harry Potterish and I’m super excited. It’s a beautiful open campus with 3 futbol fields, tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts, olympic swimming pools and 3 different play grounds, complete with some peacocks that roam the grounds. There is also a girls dean position open which would include housing for Wes and I that we have decided to try out for a year or two. Plus we’d have full access to the cafeteria when ever we’d like for only K25 ($2.50) which Wes loves!
Other than that, life here is pretty same old same old. I still haven’t been bitten by a snake, or lion for that matter. I have seen some baby elephants. No, I haven’t been met the president of Zambia, only seen him drive by a few times. Yes, I do make a fresh batch of bagels every Sunday because I’m a true Spaniard and I require my daily bread and Jesus of course… And NO, OUR CONTAINER STILL HAS NOT ARRIVED. However, it is in Tanzania waiting for us to get a number thinging for customs clearance.