Poop and School
I have two classes at the CEC. My first class is in the morning from 7-9am. So everyday the alarm clock goes off at about 5:20 (just like my crew days). Except instead of working up a sweat, I feel my way up the stairs to our stinky bathroom. Our bathroom ALWAYS smells. At first we thought it was just our butts. But then Bill, another WorldTeach volunteer, told us that when he was in Costa Rica they had the same problem with bathrooms. He said that because the houses only have one drainage system for everything, the smell of the stinky stuff wafts up through any open drain. We put a sponge over the shower drain and the smell situation has drastically improved. Anyhow, I take a shower, eat a croissant or a bowl of cereal, and head to the bus stop.
The last three days I’ve seen the same dog on La Gasca while I’m waiting for my bus. He apparently is on a schedule. At exactly 6:05 I think to myself “Hey Mr. grey dog. Heading toward the median for your morning poop, aren’t ya. Yep, there you go. Well, here’s my bus. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I get to school right as they are unlocking the gate to the building (6:30). Often the woman who opens the door still has a stray hair curler or two in her hair. I head up to the teachers’ lounge to fill up my water bottle and grab a grabadora (tape/cd player). The 7-9 schedule is very busy so you have to get there early if you want a player.
My classroom is on the 8th floor, so I usually take the elevator up to my classroom. The classrooms were created from an empty floor with temporary, cubicle-like walls. The walls go all the way to the ceiling, but you can still hear a lot of what the adjoining classroom is doing. It usually isn’t a problem though: there is just as much noise from the traffic outside. The classrooms aren’t huge, but they’re clean and there is a nice big whiteboard to use at the front of the room. When I finish teaching my morning class I have a few hours before Spanish so I either plan or go chat in the teacher’s lounge. My coworkers are all very friendly and there is a computer with internet access in the lounge so it’s a nice place to kill some time. After Spanish class Tim and I get some lunch and then I teach my second class. After this first week, I’m partial to my morning class, but we’ll see. I have younger students in the afternoon and I think they may just need more time to settle in to the class. I have some very sweet students in both classes. Speaking of sweet, I’ve instituted a chocolate rule in my class. (One of the better teaching decisions I’ve made so far). The rule is if I catch them speaking in Spanish, then the next day they have to either bring me a chocolate or 25 cents. On Thursday I caught three students in my afternoon class and so Friday my students presented me with two chocolates and a quarter. It made Friday even sweeter.
Eileen, just llike your mom, getting to work at 6:30 when they open the doors. Oh ya, I guess that was in my last life. Now I’m getting up when you are finishing your first class. Also, I used to GIVE my students candy not take it from them. (Of course mine were a lot younger.) All and all it sounds like things are going very well for your first week of teaching. I’m sure your students are very lucky to have you for a teacher, they just might not realize it yet. Give them a little time, especially the younger ones.