Thursday, September 11, 2008

Teaching you, teaching me.

I was very lucky on Tuesday when I had the pleasure of beginning my internship with the Gros Islet primary school. Unaware of where the school was located, I hopped on the bus to Gros Islet and hoped to magically know where I was to stop. Luckily, I was joined by a little girl that I saw wearing a uniform (her mother just threw her on the bus), and I was hoping that by chance she was going to the same school I was to attend that day. Very fotunately, she was! When I got off of the bus, however, I only saw the infant school (which is like preschool/kindergarten and first grade). I asked the first woman that I saw walking along the road and she happily guided me to the school. While we were walking we began to talk and I found out that she was the teacher that I was to be observing that day! What are the chances!?!?!

I was immediately introduced to every staff member and what was to be shortly an assembly in my honor! I was both taken back and proud of being there this day offered such a respectful and formal introduction to the students of the primary. I was pulled into the center of a full circle including every member of the student body and the staff members as well. Within a matter of seconds, I was to be sung to (in very harmonized singing) and every student came to shake my hand! Talk about the welcome! I was immediately impressed with the manner in which they greet visitors and felt at the same time more pressure in the fact that my presence was now very much known.

All of the students admired my blue eyes...and white skin. I was immediately asked to share the "American National Anthem" and was introduced to many teaching methods used in the Caribbean. The teacher that I was working with was quite informative in the methods that she was employing. Her approach was vey interactive and the students were hardly ever distracted. Overall, I was very impressed by this teacher! In many ways, she was much better than teachers I have seen in the states! (And she has only been teaching a few short years).

Though much of my day entailed a lot of observation, I was able to interact with the students a little bit. Some of the other PCVs found themselves teaching the classes already while the teachers left to some unknown destination. Thank god that did not happen to me!!! Although I have some tutoring experience, I have never accepted the role of being a teacher in context of the classroom.

Many of my students had a sense of humor and liked to look at me funny. Though I realized that they were probably looking at me because I was looking at them. Some of the students, just as the bus drivers here, like to believe that I am working as a CIA agent or a undercover agent for the DEA. :) I tell them, nope, I'm just a Peace Corps Volunteer!

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