Tuesday, October 5, 2010

School Stories

It is hard to believe that I am starting my FOURTH week of school at this point--FOURTH! It has flown by, and I'm sorry I haven't written about it yet.  I wanted to give you an idea of my weekly schedule at this point in my service.

I teach 16 hours a week at my school-I teach 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders and each class has 2 hours of English a week.  However, I work with the other three Romanian English teachers and split their classes with them. For example, the 5th grade class has 30 students.  We split them in half, and I see 15 of them on Monday, and will see the other 15 on Wednesday, when they have their second English hour. Here is a picture of one of the classrooms-although not mine.  I will get some pictures of my room this week.

All my students have been fantastic. They are so excited to have an English teacher from the states, I feel so welcomed every time I walk in my classroom.  While there is one class that is a little more "rambunctious" that the rest, they are for the most part attentive, respectful, and a joy to teach. I refuse to speak Romanian in the classroom-I find the best way to learn a foreign language is total immersion. However, yesterday when explaining the concept of keeping a journal of your daily events for English class, I read my HS students my journal from Romanian classes in Targoviste-my daily schedule in Romanian. They LOVED it.  Anytime they hear me speak Romanian they are amazed and it is fun to see their shocked faces. :)

A funny translation story from yesterday-one of my 11th graders was working on his journal as I asked them to do in class. I could tell he really didn't want to work, he looked exhausted and when I asked him why he wasn't working, he looked at his blank paper, looked at me,  and said in perfect English, perfectly serious "Teacher, I will resolve this at my house tonight." Lol. Resolve.

The teachers have been wonderful, accepting me as the newbie and giving me helpful advice on the students, the school, and my life here in Romania in general.  I have been given homemade jams, fresh homemade bread (Cozonac-it's a traditional and very delicious bread), homemade bean, mushroom and eggplant spreads-I am overwhelmed by the generosity of my new friends here and am so grateful!
Here is a picture of Cozonac:

I will soon be starting a cooking club (ironic, I know), and continuing a film club that my Counterpart Vali started last year. I am excited about both.  I'm also looking into doing something for Halloween but we'll see.

Tonight, I'm making my first cookies from scratch. In Romania, when it is your birthday, YOU bring sweets for other people, unlike in the US. SO I am making sugar cookies--we will see how they turn out.

Oh-PS it is freeeezing! Only October and currently I am wearing 5 layers (2 pair of socks) in my house.  Thank goodness for long underwear.  This might have to be my next purchase...

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