Thursday, October 13, 2016
Para Los Niños
It happens quite often during my day that I need to remind myself to stretch. To stretch my legs after a long commute. To stretch my Spanish muscles, which have atrophied since high school. To stretch the muscles in my face that form my 'I am VERY serious' face, and twice as often the ones which my 'I am just kidding!' face is comprised of. Thankfully, the language barrier has been easier to face with the children of Hogar Escuela. They are willing to wait patiently while I flip through a dictionary, or ask them to write out phrases on paper when they are lost on the voyage from their mouths to my ears. Better yet, they are just as proud of me when I remember things they've taught me, as I am of them.
We have crossed some hurdles in these first two weeks of school, tripped over a few, and completely missed at least one (it was a train, and I still can't believe the last one leaves the station at 8:00 in the morning). Lesson planning has been difficult, to say the least. 3-5 year olds do not like to listen for very long. And they outnumber us ten to one. Most other classes are comprised of children between six to twelve years of age, which offers a range of ability we are still wrestling with. Within those classes, attendance varies greatly, as our school is supplemental to aid parents in need of childcare for their full time employment. We are never sure what we will receive from each day upon arrival, but we have learned that everyone has more fun if we can be flexible. So I continue to stretch and keep myself warm with the spirit of compassion and love that brought me here. Although I am exhausted at the end of this week, I know that I have earned this feeling. & that makes it so much sweeter.
However slowly it seems, routines are being formed. Most students know our names, our songs, and greet us with ecstatic " 'Ello Teachers!" and a hug when we see them in the halls in which we walk together, as we grow together. I'll include a few pictures of these halls so you can walk with me and see what I see, as best as I can provide.