First Impressions as “Teacher Tara!”
~ By Tara
My experience as an intern is a little different than most, since I applied and was accepted into the program after the initial start date. I arrived about a month later than the other interns in this session and have called Isla home for only about three weeks. Like any new town, it is always an adventure figuring out “how to live,” such as where to buy groceries, where the bank is, where to take laundry, etc. My roommates have been very welcoming and super helpful making my adjustment here a breeze, since they already had a month under their belts.
Since I did not have the experience teaching in the summer camp, I was extra nervous to start teaching in my own school because I had no idea what to expect. Now with two weeks under my belt, I already know how much I am going to love these next four months with these energetic young kiddos. I started a list called “kid memories,” for random little moments that happen to me at school that I think will be funny to look back on later. A few of my favorites so far are:
- A little girl came up to me with a stick-on jewel on her nose and pointed to my nose ring with the biggest grin.
- A student asked me if “shut up” was a bad word, then proceeded to tell on a classmate for saying it.
- Random students yelling (in English) “Teacher, the floor is lava!” meaning I have 10 seconds to stand anywhere besides on the floor.
Every day brings a new challenge, but it also brings a new memory. I know one day I will look back on the little moments that happen every day, and they will create the story of my time here. In two short weeks, I have learned that yes, teaching English in a foreign country is exhausting, but it is so rewarding. It’s the moment when you see a new concept click in a student’s mind. It’s the “Teacher, Teacher!” you hear from an excited student no matter where you are on the island. It’s the endless number of hugs/ pictures/ stickers given to me each day. It’s a parent telling me how excited their child is to start learning English. I came here in hopes of changing the lives of these kiddos, but I have quickly learned that they will be changing mine too. These little moments make my day a little brighter and my heart a lot fuller. Here is to the next four months as Teacher Tara!