5/23/14 was another great day. The morning started off in a rush because the resort cook had called in sick and was unable to cook our breakfast. Therefore, we had to wait an extra 20 minutes for our food to get cooked while the resort staff hurried to find on-the-go packages for us to carry our food in while eating in the car. The car drive to the school was very hectic because we had to eat our breakfast while driving up windy roads. Despite this, we overall had a very good teaching day. What made this teaching unique compared to others is that today we had an extra sixth grade class. Because of this, we didn’t have time to go out to lunch so we only got smoothies. Today, as with the other days, we were able to develop many friendships and connections with the students. These relationships will be remembered once we get home and it will help us grow an appreciation for teachers. So far, from teaching I have learned that patience is an important virtue and that understanding how the student learns is an important part of teaching.
Today was a Friday so many of the students were eager to leave the school as were we. The ride back home was very peaceful because we were able to see the scenery and to enjoy the air conditioning in the car. Once at Cinnamon Bay, we decided to go to beach and to swim with our new waterproof cases. I was very excited to take photos with the waterproof case because I heard that there were sting rays in the water. Once in the water, I took many underwater selfies and was able to capture a picture of the school of tiny fish swimming by my feet. As a group, we decided to swim out to the reef near the island closed to the bay; however, we got too tired and soon were eager to swim back to shore. After a long nice shower, we went to the resort patio to eat dinner. We spent the rest of the night making bracelets for our fourth grade class with the string that Ryan brought from home. Overall, today was filled with fun adventures and memorable experiences.
This morning, we ate breakfast in the car on the way to the school. This shouldn’t seem like a weird thing to do – actually, it’s probably an everyday thing for some of us – but we were eating scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, and bagels in the back seat of a rental car while we conquered the winding road of terror for the hundredth time. We hung out with our 8A class, where Katie B. and I found out we’d been pronouncing Jahnni’s name wrong for a week, and nobody told us. During our 6th grade class, I had Shaquan and Ahmar, who managed to do the hardest Scratch project with little to no help. All the 6th graders seem to be pretty quiet, and I think that they work quickly since they don’t talk much. After 6th grade, we had our break, during which our little friend Peter came in to hang out and play Temple Run (Peter is in Kindergarten), and we made our daily smoothie/milkshake run. While we were waiting for Mrs. Powell to unlock the 4th grade room, we discovered that one of the boys had a little crush on his classmate. Once we knew about that, the classroom secrets just started pouring out, so we know all the gossip. We taught them animations today, and they really seemed to like them. Alewdys and Kinaé, who I work with, did a person running and Whack-A-Mole. Our last class of the day was 7A, where we ended up with four new students. They started Scratch while everyone else started Etoys, and the class actually went pretty well. After school, we came back to camp. While some people opted for a swim, Ryan opted for a nice nap, and I opted for a relaxing afternoon of blog-writing. After dinner (the spaghetti and meatballs were awesome), we started making the bracelets that we’re going to give to the 4th graders at the end of the trip. They’re sitting on the table in our cabin, and, although we’ve only made about six so far, we’ve definitely used all the colors.
Another gorgeous day has dawned upon us. We made our way to breakfast, but our cook had called in sick. The other cook was able to make it, but we ran out of time and had to eat on the run. The girls were great about it, and everyone still had their scrambled eggs, toast, sausage, bacon, and bagels, just out of to-go containers while driving. It’s always an adventure getting to school on time!
On Fridays our schedule is a little different: the girls teach two classes back to back before having a break. Both classes went really well. The students from JESS (Julius E. Sprauve) are doing extremely well and impressing all of us. They’ve been able to script their own games in Etoys, and are moving right along to the next project.
For lunch we headed to our usual spot for the best smoothies on the island. The girls have also discovered they make the best milkshakes on the island, so our order is always speckled with a few milkshakes.
Our fourth grade students are coming along really well. A lot of them are able to take their project even further than instructed and add more detail to it. They’re doing just as well as some of our middle school students. The 7th grade class went really well; the girls have had to be really flexible with new students coming to class each day. Ryan had a Scratch party with the four new students taking them over the basics of Scratch while the rest of class continued in their work.
The girls are definitely feeling tired after a full week of teaching. After each class, you can see a little more energy leave their body, but then the next class comes in and they’re back at it. I’ve been really impressed with their energy and perseverance while teaching. I think the weekend is coming at just the right time, though. Everyone’s looking forward to having a few days off.
Listening to the girls’ conversations has been really interesting. A lot of the conversations revolve around the students and how much they love them. I don’t think they realized how much they would enjoy working with the kids. They love making friends with them and asking them about their lives. Some conversations are about the mosquitoes, but that’s nothing new. We have purchased a new bug spray that seems to be working; keeping our fingers crossed! A few of the girls are starting to feel the toll of the trip, and it’s building some tension between them. We’re taking each day one at a time and staying positive. Some of the girls really miss the little luxuries of life, like AC at home, bug-free showers, wifi at their disposal, etc, but some are really taking each day in stride and enjoying every minute of it.
I think the weekend will be a refreshing break for everyone!