New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie
Posted: 27 Sep 2020 04:43 PM PDT
OK maybe not yet, but after many an answered prayer for Courtney’s and my first day as English teachers in the 2 DRLM Lutheran schools, I owe you a recap.
Both Monday and Wednesday were far less stressful than anticipated. We didn’t speak a word of English for the first 45 min. or so; instead, we and the teachers got to know one another (in Spanish) and laid out expectations on both sides. It seems like a waste of valuable teaching time, but trust in Latin cultures is built on relationships and shared experiences, so it was crucial that we invest in caring about our students as individuals.
From there, we moved into an objective assessment, which we intend to repeat down the road to (hopefully!) demonstrate progress. We have our work cut out for us.
Learning two simple conversations, line by line, dominated nearly all remaining class time, but seeing as how we’ve chosen a secular curriculum, we’re making it a point to weave the faith into every session, hoping that the teachers will do the same. We’ll conclude with the following verse until they’ve got it down pat:
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Psalm 27:1
Courtney pointed out that it was a tad ironic to be utter newbies at something that our students are professionals at: teaching. It was, but it also gave me, at least, a way to ground our seemingly childish techniques in the familiarity of watching pre and elementary schoolers grasp new concepts – slowly, stutteringly, and with lots of repetition.
We hit the books again tomorrow, when we’ll review, review, review, and then plow on with occupations and telling time. “Lesson planning” is an onerous task. Language builds on itself so much that each deceptively simple phrase gets bogged down in numerous underlying concepts. We’re leaning on the authors of the curriculum big time for what to explain and what to just let be for now. I also, naturally, find myself trying to think outside the box when the learning style of our pupils is that common throughout the region – rote dictation and memorization.
Enjoy these photos of our classrooms, and keep the prayers coming as we head into week 2.
Palmar (The dry erase board wouldn’t…erase! We’ll meet in a classroom on Wednesday.)
Until next time, blessings!
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