Monday, October 19, 2009

Then Will the Eyes of the Blind be Opened and the Ears of the Deaf Unstopped

Last night I was up until 4 AM talking on skype with Aaron and Eddie. I had to be up around 8 for work but I was having such a great time that I didn't really care. I had a great time catching up with those guys and I definitely miss all that laughing.

So speaking of the job, this is where I update you on that situation. As most of you know, I am an English teaching assistant in a public elementary school. My school is called C.E.I.P. Antonio Machado and it is located in Majadahonda which I've talked about before so MOVING ON. The schools are bilingual so about 50% of their classes are given in English. Science and English are both taught in English so those are the classes that I assist at my school. I work mostly with 1st and 2nd graders but I have 3 hours a week with 3rd graders. Going into this program I wasn't sure how I was going to do with little kids but so far it has been awesome. I was pretty nervous that they weren't going to really like me but I think I've done an OK job of at least keeping their attention. I'm hoping as I get more comfortable teaching them that I will be able to make things more fun and figure out the ways that they enjoy learning.

One of my first days on the job we were going through the five senses in the science book and I ended up trying to contain my laughter while the teacher was giving the lesson because of what was in the book.

This is the introduction to the section about sight. As you can see there are a couple of pictures to illustrate.

So that's all good, but then all of a sudden you continue to look at the pictures and you come across this example:

Now... does anyone see anything wrong with that picture?? I thought that was so funny. What would possess someone to choose THAT picture to illustrate the caption "I can see where I am walking"?

As far as the specifics of my job go, they vary from class to class and from day to day. This week I am actually leading all of the 1st grade classes that I would normally be assisting because their teacher is out of town at a conference. That's been a challenge because I still don't feel like I'm a very good teacher, but it went well today. Most of the time I just follow the regular teacher's lead and help with pronunciations of words or help the kids know what to do.

The reason they bring us to the schools is so that the students can hear a native speaker and learn about their culture. The hope is also that it will encourage the students to speak in English. We are supposed to pretend that we don't understand any Spanish because the second the kids find out we understand it, they'll never attempt to speak to us in English since it's so difficult. This causes a lot of problems for me. The kids don't know enough English to communicate most of their ideas so they just say them all in Spanish and I have to decide whether to ignore them or answer them in English in the hopes that it won't register that I just understood their Spanish. So far it has worked out but some of the 2nd graders began to catch on because I was answering too many of the things they were saying in Spanish so I had to back it off a little bit. It's such a difficult thing because a lot of times I really want to just speak to them in Spanish because they're pretty cute and I hate having to just look at them with a dumb look on my face.

Some of the parents really want their kids to learn English well so they hire us assistants to come their homes and spend an hour or so tutoring their children. It's great practice for the kids and nice for us to get the extra money. I had my first tutoring experience today and it was a lot of fun. I went to this family's apartment and spent an hour just hanging out with the student, talking and playing hangman.

Well after having such a late night last night I'm going to stop here so I can actually get some decent sleep.


1 comment:

  1. josh baker...first of all, i'm glad i came across your blog via kaley's page!!
    i MISS you and i'm glad to hear you're still alive!! :)

    i hope things are going well and that God is using you to do BIG things!! love you bud!
    also, the "i can see where i am walking" picture made me laugh REAL HARD!!! lol...nice find.

    :) -britt