Friday, December 08, 2006

I really do love my kids ...

This week was a bit exhausting. I felt tired all week, because I didn't get to bed as early as I should have. Monday night, I did not go to bed until midnight, because I was out with some friends at Mango Tango. Tuesday, I was in bed by 11, but I was out again. I met up with BFC and two of her friends that she met in Honduras, the Banana Beach people. She left on Wednesday. A little sad, I must say. She hopes to be back in March though, which is only a few months away. She gave me the email address of a Peace Corps guy that works with Habitat for Humanity here in Ceiba. I emailed him the other day, so we will see if he responds.

It isn't raining right now, but it rained all last night and all day today. I hope it doesn't rain so much tomorrow. Veronique's is opening tomorrow, finally. It's a boutique (dresses, jewelry, perfume, shoes), that Veronica's daughter is opening in the same building that I live in. There's a store front, and from what I've seen, everything is absolutely gorgeous and super cute. The inauguration thing is at eleven. It's a really cute store, so I hope it does well for Lorna. In the evening, I'll probably go over to Expatriates and do some planning and have a few beers. Maybe I'll meet someone new. I need to relax and try to forget about all the kids at school who won't shut up and failed their verb and noun quizzes today (only 4 out of 15 or so passed). I'm going to review on Monday and retest on Wednesday. For the retest, I am going to give them a study sheet, even though all of the things are right in their notebook, and we reviewed everything right before the quiz.


We've been talking about nouns and verbs for three weeks, and we were REVIEWING what they learned last year. I'm not sure what else I can do to help them understand the difference. Half of them didn't even put any effort into taking the quiz, which was part of the problem. The other part was that most of them talked throughout the entire quiz. Excuse me? We do not talk during quizzes. Give me a break and at least shut your mouth during a quiz. These kids are relentless. I'm going to give them a retest, but I'm making everyone who failed to get their test signed by their parent or they get no recess for an entire week. I've been giving zeros for kids who don't do their homework. I have some who haven't done hardly any. 20% of their grade is homework. Most of the homework I check for completion, not for accuracy. It's an easy 20%. I have a feeling that the first quarter, parents will not be so happy with their children's grades. Then, I can show them all the zeros on my grading sheets and see what they say. We send homework sheets home, in Spanish so the parents can read them to make sure the kids do their homework. Some parents really do care and work with their children. But you'd think that the others would at least give a shit. For example, Leana went to public school last year (read: not very good, no English). She went to Holy Trinity for kindergarten, but they couldn't afford it last year, and now she's back for second grade. She doesn't really understand much English, and was doing very poorly at the beginning of the year. Her father asked if I would tutor her, and writes me notes regularly asking questions about the homework and quizzes so that they can help her study. He speaks some English, which of course helps. She did very well on the quiz, only missed one or two points, while the smartest kid in the class just didn't do it and got a 6/12 or something similar. His mom is a teacher too. Oh well, at least I have Leana.

Alejandro, the first grade devil child (son of the secretary) was back today. He couldn't take the Phonics quiz, because he doesn't know the letters. He didn't do the spelling practice worksheet this afternoon. He wrote his name on two of my letter blocks. However, we did play some this afternoon, and I told him we were friends. I need to give him a reason to listen to me, and I think that befriending him is my next plan. He also wrote "I will listen," about 12 times after he wrote on my blocks and I got upset with him. I talked to his mom, but I think she just thinks that I don't "deal well with kids." Who would ever think that it might actually be your OWN kid

Alejandra's mom was there for the birthday party she threw. It was super cute, and the kids had a good time eating cake and pizza. She told me that she had talked to Stephanie and Angie's grandmother, who had said something about me hitting the kids. The girls, cousins, stopped coming because the school had gotten too expensive. So, they'll start another school in January when all the other schools start up. But apparently, Angie said she was afraid she was going to get hit and didn't want to go to school. I assured Alejandra's mom that she had nothing to worry about, but did tell her that Alejandro does hit and kick them. I said that I talk to his mom everyday about it, and while Alejandro does get punished, there is only so much that I can do about that. She also said something about Anthony, so I said that while I do trust him, I have no control over what happens in the classroom when I am not present. She didn't seem too worried about it. I think that if she really thought that I was hitting the kids, that she wouldn't have even said anything about it to me - she would have gone to talk to Veronica or la directora. I guess she just wanted to see what my reaction was.


It rained so much today. My block was dry, but the next block towards town was completely flooded. I took some pictures but it's hard to tell. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it when the bus was driving through. It's supposed to rain for a couple of days, but I hope tomorrow it isn't quite so bad. Today was miserable. Three of my first graders went home early today, because their parents came and picked them up after lunch. At least it stopped raining long enough for me to walk home from school.

I didn't do anything today when I got home from school since the weather was so crappy. I took a nap until about six, and then made some dinner (ramen and peanut butter and jelly - my fridge still isn't working very well) and watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, followed by a couple of episodes of the Gilmore Girls. My TV is at the shop getting fixed, so I don't have that this weekend either.


Jill said...

What you are going through is very common. Those of us who were trained to teach in U.S. schools are very shocked at the behavior of Honduran kids at first. Their talking is out of control, most of the time their talking is what we would call screaming, and they don't really care about consequences or punishments. Of course I am generalizing, but most kids fit into that category. At first you think, "Who in their right mind would behave like this?" Then, you get used to it and learn to work with it.

My first year teaching in Honduras was very difficult, but now that I know what to expect it is super fun. It is even worse for teachers who are coming off a stint in Asia. They can't believe the lawlessness that exists in schools here.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you just have to figure out how to adjust your teaching style to the culture. And some of the parents are never really going to care, so you have to figure out how to work around that. Of course, I teach the pubescent maniacs, so I don't understand completely, but I know what a shock it is at first.

Katrina said...

I appreciate the comment. It does help to put it into a different perspective. The rectora told me something similar the other day as well. However, the kids REALLY have to stop talking during quizzes!