Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finally reaching calm waters

The past week has gone very smoothly. The girls have begun to settle in to the schedule and routine and behavior problems are becoming less and less prevalent. The school schedule has been going well. Each day they have three school classes which last for 4 hours. On Friday, we studied science, social studies, and Spanish which was followed by activities in the afternoon that included exercise, brain games, and a science experiment. For the science experiment we created agar plates and took bacteria samples from around the house. We talked about diseases and why we need to wash our hands before meals. Sadly, I do not think that I used enough gelatin in the mixture as my agar plates are still a little runny, but we will check on Monday and hope for results. Last week the science experiment was the classic make a volcano science project, which was my first major flop because I did not have baking soda (only baking powder) which made it much less impressive. The rest of the classes are going well. It is strange for me to be teaching native speakers Spanish lessons, but even though I can’t understand what they are rattling off about (as they are super fast talking middle school girls) I still feel confident in my grammar and rules thanks to my high school Spanish teachers. My vocabulary on metaphor, imagery, and symbolism also has to improve quickly as I normally use poetry analysis as filler when I run out of Spanish stuff to talk about.

The girls are very stereotypical middle school girls. Best friends one moment followed by manipulating each other behind the other’s back, is pretty much an hourly occurrence. I am fascinated to watch the dynamics change between the girls and I am slowly beginning to be able to predict the behaviors and watch them unfold in front of us like a director watching a play. The behavior management situation occurs the same as well and it is such a rush when the whole situation plays out just as you would have hoped. Luckily all of the staff is on the same page and we all play off each other very well.

I am looking forward to another two weeks with the girls and the staff as my time in Costa Rica is starting to draw to a close.

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