Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Life gets BUSY!

So, I promised that I would share the rest of my travels and I will, but first, an apology for not being able to keep up while in Georgia. Once I saw my students, each day became a year (not because it was long, but because of everything I was doing!)

That first day back at Pirveli Skola ( for those of you just joining, it means the "1st school", basically PS 1 for you New Yorkers or others with numbers based school systems) was amazing. As I walked in the building, I had a moment of anxiety about trying to remember where the teachers' room was. Luckily I walked up the stairs next to a teacher I remembered, so I just moved closer to her and said "Gamajorba" (hello), She said hello back, and started to keep walking. Then came the double take that I WISH I had filmed, especially since it was the reaction EVERY teacher gave me. What came next was also the same from each one: a hug or holding of hands, and a kiss on the cheek. Lots of exclaiming, and another hand squeeze or kiss. I asked Nana and Nino (my co-teachers from before) if they had not told everyone I was coming. They explained it's our first day back after Easter and everyone forgot. The Pascal came out (So much yummy) and the questions. EVERY teacher wanted to know if I was married.

When the bell rang, I went to one of the first grade English classes. It was like I had not been away. They were using the same books that had been introduced when I was there. The classroom was a brightly colored green and the students were in the same outfits. Listen and repeat, stand up when answering a question, and even the same student notebooks with the same types of homework assignments (write the alphabet this time).

Since there were so few students (side note, their new secretary of Education had changed the school calendar in January, so they had a spring break, but not an Easter break. This meant kids were kind of trickling in throughout the week as they returned from wherever they had spent their Easter). that teachers in all the rest of the classes I visited through out the lesson plan, and the day was about speaking and listening. AKA ask me any questions and I will answer. It was 5 classes before the first student (a 9th grader) asked me if I was married. I had joked JUST before this class that it's the first question a teacher asked and not a single student had. We had even wondered if it was a generational thing. But then he came along and asked and ruined the whole thought excessive. The poor boy was so confused when his question was met with me throwing up my hands and saying "oh well" and Nino laughing so hard she could not stop.

It was VERY good to see my old students. 5 years is a LONG time especially for Kindergarten- Sixth Graders. They are all now in 5th Grade- 11th Grade. They remembered me INSTANTLY, but it took me some time to begin to sort out who was who. One time, I felt TERRIBLE I could not remember a girl (I had assumed she was new, and she was sad I didn't recognize her.) Luckily I was redeemed when, after I heard her laugh, I remembered not only what street she lived on, but her NAME (something I could not remember for the vast majority of my students).

It was amazing to see them all again, and they invited me out to MANY events (and I was able to accept most of them!)

More to come later.

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