Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oh, Natural Sciences....

The above photos were taken at AFE during recess. The garbage dump is at the top of the hill in the first photo. The second photo is the building that my classroom is in. The window to my room is on the first floor just behind the stairs. I took the photo from another building that is identical to this one. The blue building in the background is the brand new dining hall that all the students eat lunch in every day!
(I apologize for the awful formatting...I couldn't seem to get it quite right).
My weeks have gotten a bit busier as we've actually had 2 full weeks of school! Michelletti announced last week that October 17th will be the last day of school for all public schools. Normally classes go until mid-late November (Honduran school year is from January-November), but since the elections are starting in November he decided it would be better that class was not in session during that time...I'm not quite sure why. The public education school system has really suffered this year in Honduras. Many Hondurans have explained to me that public education is really weak here, but this year has been the worst in a long time.
Fortunately, since AFE is not funded by the government our students are not affected by the government-imposed termination of classes. AFE students will study normal school curriculum through November and then they continue to come every day for extra-curricular activities until the week before Christmas.

I've really been enjoying teaching the fourth grade class! It's a blessing to have this responsibility because its keeps me busy and I truly enjoy being able to create lessons and activities to engage the students in learning.
It's been an interesting experience for me to teach Natural Sciences. Anyone who knows me well knows that I do NOT like to think about anything that has to do with the inside of the body...if I think about it too long I tend to get dizzy and have been known to pass out!! (I definitely passed out in 5th grade Science class as a child). Haha, so I've had to take mini-breaks when I'm reading through the Science book while preparing my lessons. Next week I have to teach about sicknesses and contagious diseases...disgusting! And this past week I was charged with the task of teaching the human reproductive system as well as puberty and adolescence! God really has a sense of humor because this is NOT the first time that I've taught this lesson to Spanish-speaking children. I taught it three years ago in Guatemala to children at the Compassion International School (I hardly spoke Spanish then...those poor kids). I never thought I would ever have to teach this lesson to a group of kids, let alone in Spanish, let alone TWICE in Spanish! But, those of you who know me also know that I somewhat enjoy awkward situations and this definitely qualifies as awkward; not for me, but for the students. Since my students are 11-13 years old, I expected that the majority of them would have already talked about this topic with someone. I asked them to raise their hands if anyone had ever talked to them about anything like this and I was shocked when not one student raised his/her hand.
Tomorrow we have off for Colombus Day and Thursday afternoon I leave for a retreat with MCC about an hour away from Tegucigalpa. I will only be with my students for 3 days this week and we only have 6 weeks left before we're supposed to hand in grades for the year. Please pray for my time with the students. There's a lot to learn in six weeks and it's difficult to make the most of the little time we have together in the classroom when I'm spending so much time managing their behavior. I know every teacher reading this can sympathize. So please pray that the Lord gives me and my students wisdom, patience, lots of fun and the ability to apply ourselves fully!!!