Thursday, April 2, 2015

It was Going to be Just Another Thursday

Today started like most days.  I got to school just before 7:00 a.m. anxious to get some work done before an 8:00 a.m. meeting before school started at 8:45.  Of course, the internet wasn't working but for the past week I've been having computer problems so that wasn't unusual.

After wasting 1/2 hour to get 2 pages printed, I raced to the meeting, which was quite productive but ran a bit long.  I dropped off my stuff in the classroom where my terrific assistant teacher was supervising the mayhem of 21 enthusiastic first graders putting away their things and getting ready for the day.  As I ran down the hall to use the bathroom before class started, I ran into one of my kids walking slowly toward our room, looking decidedly dejected.

I spent five minutes drying his tears and assuring him that even though his "momma" (what families here call young female servants who help their children) was nowhere to be seen and had his book bag, she knew where his class was and would get their eventually.

School started, as usual, with the National Anthem, followed by the school song.  During the school song I noticed someone peering through the small space in the doors.  I went to check - yup, it was the momma, with the book bag.

Five minutes later, someone else came to the door, asking me if everything was set for the 10:00 meeting (during my regular break time) with teachers from another department.  Yes, as far as I knew, we were set and here are the handouts.

Two minutes after that, someone else came to the door, explaining that the room we'd planned to use for the meeting was no longer available so where would I like to have it and could I inform everyone, please.

My trusty AT took over our morning routine while I ran down to make sure everyone got the message and we'd all be in the same place for our 10 meeting.

Back in the class, I resumed the routine with the kids.  Then the internet died again so I ran up to let IT know there was a problem.  I found out later it was only a problem with my computer.

Once again back in class, we continued with the lesson, which involved the kids working on our week's work on writing opinions and giving reasons to support them.  This morning, while I'd been running around the school like a madwoman, they'd spent 15 minutes writing their opinion on who their favorite person was.

As the kids shared what they'd written, I was touched.  They'd done a good job and while I expected to hear mostly about parents, many of the kids had chosen me.  And they had some delightful reasons for choosing me.  "Tr. Nancy loves me and has very soft skin."  "Tr. Nancy keeps me safe and teaches me and she's funny."  Awww.  Actually, several students mentioned my soft skin.  I should do ads for skin creams, apparently.

While we were finishing up the activity and I was mentally transitioning to my 10 meeting, more adults arrived at the door.  This time, it was the school founder, the head of school and several strangers.  While the kids watched, I was introduced to the Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar, who was touring the school.

The group stayed for about five minutes, looking around my classroom and watching the kids at work.  Hopefully the Ambassador noticed that part of our class decor were pictures the kids had colored of the United States, Samoa, and China.  We just finished our world cultures lesson.

The rest of the day went a bit more smoothly.  We did have more visitors.  Most days, we have no visitors during class time.  After the last, I asked my AT to shoot the next person who tried to come in the room.  If you've ever taught young kids, you know that they work best with routine.  We had 11 different interruptions to our class today, which didn't make it easy to keep our usual daily flow.

But flow it did and the kids left, happy and excited as ever.

I got home, did a bit of cooking and was relaxing when a HUGE sand storm blew through.  It was sudden and violent and the birds were going crazy, trying to figure out which direction to go since the wind was swirling and blowing clouds of dust sky high.  I felt particularly sorry for the young couple on a motorbike who were parked outside my apartment, necking when the storm suddenly hit.  They must have felt sand blasted as they waited for the storm to abate enough for them to drive off.  I felt even sorrier an hour later for one of my favorite local staff who waved (as she does every day) as she rode her bicycle home past my windows.  At least the wind had lessened by then.

Now, it's time for relaxing and bed.  I felt honored to meet the Ambassador but am hoping for a less interesting day tomorrow.  Then again, it's a full moon and Funday Friday, so who knows?