And so I will talk about Colegio and the perils thereof.
Colegio is duro. And for those of you who don't speak Spanish, that means HARD. I am teaching 14 students from ages 12 to 17 basic level English. Basic level English means that most of the instruction needs to be in Spanish. So every Wednesday through Friday, I spend a few hours feeling like an idiot, trying to describe superlative adjectives, in Spanish, to my students.
And the students themselves are...okay. Some are very amazing. Some are really interesting people individually, and then they get into their little groups, and talk and talk and talk. And some still have problems staying in their own seats during class! Really, you'd think that by 8th grade you'd have mastered the idea of sitting down during class. Ergh.
I also had to learn an entirely new grading system. They use a scale of 1-20 here, and so I've had a self-taught crash course in Microsoft Excel, trying to average class scores and participation points and whatnot. It makes me miss Wasilla High's iParent, and I never, ever, ever thought I'd say that.
I also have some problems with materials. Its such a different atmosphere from the resource room at our public schools in America. There is no copier here. The students buy their own books (I'm still waiting, and begging, and ordering a few students in my class to GET THEIR FRIKIN BOOKS) and when I give tests (like this friday) they have to bring the 3 cents a copy it costs, individually. Which makes it hard to hand out lots of papers and teaching resources, like crossword puzzles and the like.
I think the hardest part is that I have to be mean. I have to take away their participation points when they talk. I have to say "Silencio, por favor" multiple times, sometimes multiple times to the same person. I have to give them a 10.33 (on a 20 point scale) when they never do their homework, show up to class late, and never even do their classwork. Grr...
Anyways, I'm looking into this as a challenge, a test that I'll have to overcome on my YOS. And, because I've been memorizing Hidden Words recently, here's some (in Spanish and English) that have helped me detach when I'm feeling frustrated and ineffective and annoyed...
O Son of Spirit! Ask not of Me that which We desire not for thee, then be content with what We have ordained for thy sake, for this is that which profiteth thee, if therewith thou dost content thyself.*
¡OH HIJO DEL ESPIRITÚ!
No Me pides lo que no deseamos para ti; conténtate, pues, con lo que hemos ordenado para ti, porque esto es lo que te beneficia si con ella te contententas.*
O Son of Man! For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is fortitude under My decree and patience under My trials.**
¡OH HIJO DEL HOMBRE! Hay un signo para cada cosa. El signo del amor es la fortaleza en Mi decreto y la paciencia ante Mis pruebas.**
*Los Palabras Ocultas, número 18 del Árabe
**The Hidden Words, #48 from the Arabic