Admittedly, I have kind of failed on keeping up the blog this month….but you must forgive me. I’ll try to do better.
A post that has been percolating in my brain for the last month or so (terrible that I haven’t written it till now, I know, but in my defense I’ve been traveling, planning future travels and oh yeah, working as well) is one about “my kids.” They are the reason for my being here in Spain, and you know what? As much as they sometimes drive me crazy and exhaust me and whatnot, I absolutely love ’em.
A cheesy and generic sentiment, I know, but it’s true. It’s definitely not easy being a teacher, a teacher’s aide or an after-school tutor (the hats of all of which I wear at some point during the week), but the candid, adorable, funny, random antics of those kids make it well worth it. I’ve always enjoyed kids and used to be a Sunday School teacher for nursery ages as well as teach dance lessons to kids of all ages. Jake will tell you that I get distracted quite easily any time a cute little one passes us on the street. But I think being a teacher (or working in a school) takes that a step further, somehow.
At my schools in Alberite and Albelda, I teach kids ages 3-5, and 1st through 6th grade, while in the academy, I’m with kids from 2nd to about 8th grade. It’s quite a range, for sure, but the variety is fun. There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to every age group. For example, my 5th graders are always really enthusiastic, curious (we had fun one day as I was explaining some winter weather terms associated with Nebraska winters….they now know the words sleet, wind chill and frostbite, haha and were awestruck that it actually got “dangerous” on roads) and have enough of a handle on English that we can do a lot. On the flip side, they never cease their talking and can sometimes have some attitude problems. My 3 and 4 year olds, on the other hand, probably don’t grasp too much of what I’m talking about outside of colors, numbers, and “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” (to their credit, they are three and four years old. I barely knew those things in English at those ages). However, they constantly melt my heart with their wide-eyed, rapt attention when I read them stories, their darling trilled shouts of “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrriannnna!” when I come in the classroom, and their predisposition to group hug tackles that nearly bowl me over. 🙂 Gosh, but they’re precious. I had a blast making snowflakes (and practicing writing/speaking winter words) with my 1st graders last week (picture below) and witnessing their excitement upon opening up each of their own, unique snowflake creations. My 3rd and 4th graders have so much fun learning and singing songs (or raps, at times) and always giggle when I act silly during presentations (I think sometimes my 6th graders/older ones give me pity laughs sometimes, but oh well, can’t please ’em all). No matter how my day is going, or if I’m sick or if I’m stressed, it always puts a smile on my face to walk into my schools and be greeted endlessly with “Hellos!” and “Brrrrianna!” at every turn.
More updates/pics of my sweet kids to come.