Well, I survived my first 2.5 days of teaching! Not only did I survive, but things went much better than I expected! Other than a bit of a troublesome 4 hour class yesterday (the computers are so old and outdated, I couldn't figure out how to turn half of them on!), here are some highlights...
1. my students only laughed once at my pronunciation during roll call on the first day
2. turns out I DO know enough spanish now to communicate decently (and the girls don't show even a tiny bit of frustration when I ask them to repeat their question for the 4th time!)
3. throughout my day, I have a nice balance of 13-14 year old girls and first grade girls - sooo different, but both so fun!
4. it finally dawned on me that all of the pressure I've been feeling to know spanish and be an amazing teacher is only pressure I've been putting on myself - everyone, adults and children, is so understanding and welcoming. The fact that they are entrusting me with my own classes when they KNOW that I am not a teacher nor fluent in their language shows how confident they are in me - and I'm starting to feed off of that.
5. In my adult class (proving to be one of my favorite times of the day), one lady called me "Kinky" on the first day...haha, all the volunteers in the room were laughing pretty hard, so we had to try to explain to them what kinky means...the name saga continues!
6. although I don't think I've really taught my students a whole lot yet, I really feel like I am part of something significant and worthwhile here. Just walking around during the day, hearing kids yell my name (or some version of it), and being greeted by administrators, I am no longer a gringo just hanging in Ecuador. I live here. I work here. I have a place here.
I guess those highlights turned out to be less about actually teaching and more about the insights I've had since beginning to teach...but now that I've finally started doing what I came here to do, and the anticipation is over, my attitude and perspective has shifted a bit. On that note, I have to take the bus to the downtown center now for my 5pm adult class! As always, I have so much more to write, but not enough time, darnit! Thanks for reading, and thanks to those who have been sending thoughts and prayers and messages (and mail, Jill! my first package! yay!).