Monday, August 11, 2014

Finally Teaching

On Sunday evening, Ana asked if I wanted to go with her and Christein to Ana's sister's house. So I drove with them for about 20 minutes to the other side of the island. We stayed for about an hour and a half, and probably after a half hour I was anxious to go back home. It was just interesting to realize that I was wanting so badly to go to my home stay. It was the first time since being here that I've really looked at it as my Home Sweet Home.

Yesterday was the first day of actually teaching an art class. I taught twice, and we just reviewed the elements of design. The students had fun, and they loved it when I goofed off and joked throughout the lesson to keep them focused. It was just really nice to finally be in front of the classroom.

During lunch yesterday, we met with all four of the Creative Technology teachers and discussed the rest of the term. This week is Creative Technology week (I'm still unsure what that actually means) and they asked me and Alexa if we would speak at this morning's assembly about art and why it is important to learn about.

Then after school, Dr. Santos met with all of the Creative teachers and we all did some art activities to get some good ideas going for the classes. They seemed to enjoy it, and a lot of them were introduced to some art concepts for the first time. A lot of the art teachers were assigned to teach the Creative classes, even though they haven't been trained in that area. I was able to help Moana draw the basic proportions of a face, and that was a neat experience, since she had never learned any of those concepts. It's a new experience to be teaching teachers.

On Friday and yesterday, my host family didn't wake up until around 8:00, so we got to school late on each of those days. So I was not surprised when, even though I needed to be to school on time to speak in the assembly, everyone got a late start again. We also stopped so Suny could grab something from a shop, and then we dropped the little kids off at school. Even though I'm not a punctual person, it's kind of giving me grey hairs living on the Tongan timetable. I missed Alexa's speech, but Lusia still asked me to give mine. I just talked about why I decided to become an art teacher, and why it is valuable to learn about art.

Today was my second day of teaching. I was supposed to do a papercraft project to finish up the strand (section) the classes are in, so I taught them how to make an origami butterfly with paper they colored with markers and colored pencils. First I taught Form 1, and they caught on extremely fast. They loved it, and they all began making butterfly babies from the extra scrap papers when they were done. The Form 2 class, surprisingly, did not catch on as fast. I had to help a ton of the students on each step, but they still enjoyed it. Afterward, I made them all line up the desks neatly, and then the bell rang. The students just sat around, and then when they finally stood up they just stood around. I was kind of confused because they made it a half day today (not a surprise), so school was out, and they were excused to leave. Then at the same time, they all said, "Thank you, Bethany!" It was so cute. Then as everyone started filing out, some of the students began pushing the desks we just organized to the edges of the class. Turns out they were practicing an "item" (a dance) for tomorrow. I laughed, since it was a chore getting all the tables lined up and nobody told me what a waste of energy it was to do so.

The rest of the week is going to be extremely easy. Tomorrow there is no class, since it is a parent-teacher conference for the younger forms. I'll be at the school, but I don't have to teach. Then on Thursday, I only teach one class. Friday is the parent-teacher conferences for the older forms, so there is also no class. So I wonder if next week will kind of wind down to a normal schedule since the reports will be done and out of the way, but with my background knowledge thus far, I don't think so.

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