Back to School!

Skipping recess to read!


On the seventh, our students started their second semester of first grade and English classes. The kids are ecstatic to be back. It’s only my third day on the job and they are already swarming me as soon as I walk in, shouting, “Teacher! Teacher!” and clamoring to know whose turn it is for English class. Their enthusiasm and curiosity are so refreshing; I’m instantly energized and ready to go. Before class has even started they are asking me how to say different words in English, guessing what games we will play and shyly practicing their good morning’s and thank you’s.

Our first day back is a rainy day, so half the students don’t come to school.  It is also the day after Kings Day. To celebrate, we cut a special cake for the students and teachers. Those who find a white figurine in their slice are supposed to invite everyone else for Tamales.

“Noooooo! I have the doll!” Three of the kids shout. “Now we have to make Tamales,” they laugh. The children are eager to tell me about the presents they received from Santa and “los reyes.” Some of them are simple treasures that mean the world to them: a new notebook, a pencil, or simply that small white figurine they found in their slice of cake.

We review our numbers and colors with a story, the kids’ hands shooting into the air to answer each question. I call on one student. He answers incorrectly, but the very next question his hand is back up, waving emphatically. That’s one thing I love about my students: they are not afraid to be wrong or to make mistakes. They realize that error is part of the learning process, and it doesn’t dim their enthusiasm.  Four days of class and I’ve already learned so much from these kids. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring.