Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today my kindergarten kids' class went better.  I made some changes after discussing the class with their former teacher and with one of the school owners.

The classroom the first two days was set up for children, with miniature tables and chairs and lots of toys.  However, this actually worked against me because the children would just hare off from a group activity and start grabbing toys and dumping things out of their boxes, and the little chairs and tables were wonderful for things like coloring and snack time but filled most of the room, leaving only a closet-sized space in which to play games, dance, etc.  We moved to a larger classroom that was more spacious and not set up for children, and I moved all the chairs against the wall and we played and sat on the floor.  There were no distractions in the room so it was much easier to keep the kids doing group activities.

Also, the method of this school is as opposite as can be to the way we were expected to teach the littles in China.  There is no set curriculum here, no textbooks, and no drills. They acquire language in order to communicate with me, the native speaker, so I must never speak Portuguese in the classroom.  The children are supposed to pick up language naturally, so we sing songs, play games, eat our snack, and all the while I'm talking with them and playing with them and creating a relationship with them so that they will want to talk with me (and with other English speakers).

The little boy who cried on his first day of class came with his dad today.  Dad sat with him at the beginning of class, and he cried a little, but soon was singing and playing with me and the other children.  I made his dad participate just like one of the kids, and I think that put him at ease.  Shortly after that, dad went and sat outside for the rest of the class (visible through the window) and the little boy was fine.  Thank goodness!  Not everything went smoothly today, but I am so very grateful that he is settling in that it makes up for the bumpy bits. He is such a sweet little guy.

It wasn't such a good class for my plantar injury, as I got tackled by one of the kids from behind while I was in a squatting position and it was all I could do not to fall over backward and crush her.  The awkward position really stretched my foot intensely.  At least today it's warm enough I can stand to ice it, which I'm doing right now.

It hasn't rained in two whole days.  The weather today was hot, dry and windy, like the Santa Ana winds, with humidity under 30%.  I love it.  However, like the Santa Anas, this will only last a day or two and then the weather will change.  The locals tell me that it usually precedes a rainstorm.  I hope the rain will hold off another day because I had classes morning, afternoon and evening and couldn't do my laundry today!


  1. So glad things are going more smoothly now for you! You are doing a wonderful job, and have learned the most important lesson a teacher can learn; to ask help when you need it. Proud of you old friend! (((hugs!))) -Reidun M.

  2. Thank you, Reidun. Miss you. (((hugs)))