Hey Ynz, it’s been a long time since I wrote. Things have been kind of crazy over in Moldova. About a week after my last post — I think it was a week — I began teaching a summer series of English courses at one of the schools in my training village, Ioloveni. It’s been an amazing process so far. Inspiring, tiring, and filled with tons of learning. I’m excited that already I am actively helping people here in Moldova, and I have not even made it to my site. The English Teachers just finished their first 7 days of classes, 2 classes a day, teaching a lower grade (for me it was the 7th); and tomorrow I will begin a 7 day series with 11th graders.
10 days ago, everyone one of the Peace Corps English teachers was assigned a “resource teacher” who would monitor, watch, and guide them through teaching our own classes. Mine has 38 years of experience teaching in Moldova; she speaks English, Russian, Romanian, and a little French. The first day, I taught one lesson; she taught the next; but after that, the follow six days, it was all Ben in the front of the classroom — with much student presence as well.
My class size ranged from 12 to 23 students on any given day. The days with fewer students were calmer and more controlled, but with a larger class, I found them to be exhilarating. It’s not so easy maintaining the attention of 23 twelve-year-olds in the middle of summer when you don’t speak their native language. But all of us teachers overcame that struggle by working hard outside of class to prepare a large amount of visual aids to make the lessons run smoothly.
The last day, I gave my students a test and then we played games for the last class. Here are two pictures of us:
There were not so many students on the last day — perhaps because I told them there would be a test — but the class was still a real blast. I wish I’d taken more pictures, but you all know how hard it is to think of at the time.
Anyways, it was only yesterday that this picture was taken, but after taking down all the pictures I drew and cleaning up all their messes from their desks, I’ve found myself rather nostalgic. I miss my students. Teaching is something pretty magical. The good news is that next Friday, there will be a celebration day where all the students from everyone’s classes comes and we play games and watch movies and eat really tasty — perhaps American — food.
I’d also like to share my average day with you, too. I am rather proud of it.
5:30 wake up and go for a run or study russian
8:00 at school prepping classroom
8:30-10:30 Russian classes
11:15 – 12:00 first English class
12:15 – 1:00 second class
1:00 – 2:00 lunch
2:00-5:00 lesson plan with resource teacher
5:00-7:30 type lesson plan and begin making class materials
7:45 print lesson plan at local computer lab
8:15 dinner at home
8:30 resume making lesson materials
10:30 study russian
11:30 bed, perhaps watching a little of a movie
5:30, I’m up again
So, yes, that is my day. Now, though, I don’t know how things are going to go. In the second half, I will be teaching the 11th grade with my future teaching partner, who is different from my resource partner. This teaching partner and I will teach together in Anenii Noi for the next two years, somewhere between 6 and 9 hours a week. I’ve never team taught before, and I’m a little nervous about it. This is going to require some growth.
Well, I hope, for those who wanted some information, that that was informative. I will leave by saying that I love Moldova, and this Peace Corps thing is pretty swell.
Also, right now, Pennsic is going on. Today, right now, at 1:30, I would be on the battle field with 6 bottles of Vitamin Water and the will to kill, the wind blowing through me hair, the sky filled with those majestic Pennsic clouds. If any of you who understand what I just said are reading this, Kick some ass.
All my love,
Oh, also! Amy and Doug about to have a freaking baby!!!