Friday, January 15, 2016

First Week in Kindergarten

So now that we've all made it through my first week as a kindergarten teacher, I thought it'd be fun to write about a few things I've learned this week...!

-30 kindergarteners in one class feels like we're at a zoo most of the time... I'm having fun, but that leads me to...

-Other than lesson planning, putting them into new table groups and labeling spots on the carpet is number one on my to-do list before going back to school on Monday.

-I much prefer teaching them in Spanish than in English. While nearly everyone understands English well, they are great at trying to fool you into thinking they really don't understand it... And the fact that Spanish is my go-to language with everyone else here, it's hard to force myself to speak English to them when they only want to speak Spanish to me!

-All of the boys looked the same, and it took until the end of the week to get their names right. Learning the names of 30 kids might be hard if I didn't have two kids each named Luciana (and a Luciano), Nicolas, Santiago and Valentina. So really, I only had 21 names to learn!

-Making parent phone calls in Spanish is my most dreaded task EVER. I don't mind talking to the parents in person but it's something about talking to them on the phone... I feel like my Spanish goes down the drain and it sounds like I don't actually speak it! It's awful!

-One little girl arrived to school early the other day and was telling me about her brother. I asked if he was older than her and she very seriously said, "Oh yes, he is almost 100 years old!"

-Apparently two of my students are "in love." I noticed how often they have started sitting together in class and playing together outside and thought it was cute. Then on Thursday, it was the talk at recess- "They're in love and he even wants to kiss her on the cheek!" Maybe it's just me, but I think they're still a little young for a relationship!

-We're working on sight words. It's been great because after they say the sight word, I've been asking them to use it in a sentence which forces them to speak English. The vast majority seem to think that the word "it" is actually "eat" (with their accents the words sound the same). Every time I get at least several sentences like "I like to eat" or "I eat my lunch." They just can't remember it's a different word! It's very funny!

-I was hired to teach a new kindergarten class but for now, that class won't be opening up any time soon (if at all, I'm not sure yet). I'm going to stay on as the teacher for my current class (I was supposed to be their real teacher's sub for a month until the other class opened) at least for awhile... I expected it so it wasn't much of a surprise... If Bolivia has taught me anything, it's that you just have to go with the flow!

I was told by another teacher on my first day that if I make it through the first day, I'll make it through the last day, and I think she's right! I don't know what I'd do without my classroom assistant, and we are all learning how to make things work best for us. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself... It's only the first week! I do know it'll be a great semester and I have a lot more to learn! :)

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