Sow. Cultivate. Bloom.

An online journal of an uprooted life.

The End of The First Quarter

Whoops, it has been a long while between Week 3 reflections and this point.  This first quarter flew.  Upon early reflection and just plain exhaustion, I oscillate between wondering if I made any progress with kiddos and realizing that we learned a lot. As a staff we agreed to spend most of the first 6-8 weeks working on procedures.  This was a huge relief given the insane pacing schedule that stared me in the face each fall back in the ole’ los Estados Unidos.

Still, I found myself wishing for those dang pacing guides.  It has occurred to me that this process of teaching at a small international school with very limited resources echoes my first year.  At times my mind and emotions reel sending me into a spiral of self-talk that tells me I know nothing.  Other times, I feel as triumphant as can be.  Having left most my trusted resources in a storage container in the States I really have started from scratch.

This is where I bless Google and all the other teachers who have decided to share their content online.  One thing that tells me I am not in my first year is I realize to not reinvent the wheel.  If ever there was a profession of beg, borrow and steal–teaching is It!

I am slowly learning how to selectively beg, borrow and steal.  Instead of launching a crazy Writer’s Workshop I realized my students just need plain ole’ grammar work.  I’ve tried to make it about as exciting as sleeping so ya know, they love it.  Next quarter we will be learning some Schoolhouse Rock songs to liven it up.  Even though it feels rather boring to just direct instruct grammar lessons, I’ve heard my students using far more adjectives than when we began.  They are coming along in their English acquisition.

I, for one, am coming along in my Spanish acquisition, too.  The other day a student presented me with my very own Spanish quiz.  She said I got an A-.  It was cute, sincere and a real watershed moment for me.

One.) I am learning a lot more Spanish because of my students and Two.) They get that we are all students and teachers.  And that, if anything, is what I hope (along with basic math) my students take away from their year with me.  Learning truly is a wonderful process.


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