I am losing my voice. I have to recharge my patience at night, but I almost lost that a few times. I am pretty sure I have lost a few student papers already. Luckily, though, I have not lost my sanity.
I am past “hump-day” of my second week and I am quickly learning that everyday is different and you must easily try to put the bad behind you. Do not let it linger. It will eat you alive. Teaching 5th grade is exhausting and the students have let the grace period slide so their personalities are starting to come out, all the good with the bad.
-I have one students who always hums or taps on the table while other people are talking. How can he not see that this is annoying?
-I have one student who has invented her own language…tattle telling.
-I have another student who takes severe offense to any breach of his personal space or insult to his pride. (He also uses his hands to force people to do what he wants all the time. I like to think of him as a frustrating oxymoron. If you have any suggestions on how to teach these kids to speak what they feel instead of using their force, please leave a comment.)
-I have one students who finds the sky incredibly entertaining. Or maybe he just has ADD and looks at the same spot when he is checked out.
-I have one student who has not done any of her homework yet.
-I have one student who has a weird obsession with her back pack and touching things on my desk.
-I also have a student who sits next to one of the most unmotivated, distracting students and yet, resiliently never gets involved in bad behavior and always does her work…well, very well.
-I also have a student who is amazing at soccer and a math/english genious.
-I also have a student who loves to share every detail about her everyday life.
-I also have a student who participates in PE regardless of the activity. Did I mention he has a broken arm.
-I also have a student who always tries his best and is not afraid to ask questions.
So you see there are two sides to it all. Even when things look like they are going to come crashing down on my head, a student surprises me with excellent work or shows me that humanity does exist in 5th grade in Honduras.
I have always been amazed when children speak a foreign language. It’s is truly one of the funny/interesting-for-no-reason things that always surprises you when you see it. Today on the way home, I saw something that topped that:
Two of my students (Johny and Ramón) live on the route to and from school. I generally walk home with these two and talk to them about everything. Today some other teachers accompanied us. As we were walking the Johny and Ramón lagged behind because they were deep in conversation, remembering all the cool things they used to do when they were kids…you know, like in 4th grade. I didn’t realize until we were half way home, but the entire conversation was in English. These are two native Spanish speakers having a conversation with each other in their second language. That, my friends, is way cooler than seeing little kids speak a foreign language. It just put a smile on my face to know that because of what I am doing here, and the people who have done it before me, will help these kids actually be successful in a 3rd world country. The only reason: they are bilingual.
I think my students finally realize that I am here to stay. Let’s hope the beast finally settles in to school life and I can ease up a bit.
Small victories.

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