January 18, 2013

The school year has begun!

The first week of school.  It sounded so daunting at first, but in reality: not so much. 

The first day of school: I was super anxious before the first day of school on Tuesday.  I taught first period in the afternoon, so I left the house super early in order to arrive on time. I brought my bata which is a white coat that all professors here have to wear while teaching, and materials for an activity that I wanted to do in class.  When I got to the school, there were a few other teachers around, and random students scattered as well.  I started talking to some of my colleagues who informed me that we were not giving lessons that day because the list of turmas had just been posted the night before, so none of the students knew their turma, classroom, etc.  So I sat around talking to colleagues for 2ish hours and never even entered the classroom.  All that anxiety for nothing.

The second day of school:  Well, I didn't even end up going to the school the second day, because Sarah went to school and saw that there were little to no teachers at the school, and also little to no students at the school.  So after waiting around all morning in anticipation of teaching again, I got a call saying that I shouldn't even bother going to the school.

The third day of school:  Clearly, I didn't know what to expect.  I was scheduled to give three double periods in a row which seemed a little daunting, especially when I had yet to give a lesson.  I was kind of hoping that it would be a repeat of the two days before with no lessons given, but to no avail.  There were probably 10-15 students in every class out of the 40-50 on the roster.  I didn't want to launch into the rules/give the diagnostic test while I didn't have all of my students, so I decided to try to do some impromptu reviewing of what the students should have learned in 10th grade.  I don't necessarily know the 10th grade cirriculum, but I tried.  I had been told by many of my colleagues that most student's levels of math are very low, but in my experience the students just needed to brush up on some of the material, and I think they actually did very well considering it was their first math lesson after a couple months off of school.  Overall I consider the day a success, even though I stumbled through some concepts and didn't speak flawlessly.  My students could understand me relatively well.  When I didn't know a word, I asked them and they told me.  I felt comfortable with my students already and it was my first time meeting them.  I think that's partly because there was only a fraction of the students there and I could be a little more personal and friendly with them.  I hope the promising start that I had continues throughout the rest of the trimester and the year!