Last Firsts Are Now First Lasts
When I got to my site in September of 2011, it was the last, first time I would start the school year/term. Now, it’s my last first week of starting a school term here in Jamaica.
First weeks back at school, whether it be the first week back of the year or the first week back from a long break, is equivalent to that of what we called “Hell Week” in high school. Hell Week was the first week of practice (for whatever sport). Why hell week? Let’s just say that you could easily identify who the athletes were just by watching them walk in the halls, errr hobble around slowly but surely. In any case, we just got our out-of-shape butts kicked; hardly a way to avoid the muscle pains. Much like teaching the first week of school; merely impossible to prepare for the wrath of students who don’t want to be in class…and I teach PE!!!
I’m not saying they don’t WANT to be in my class, most of them do; however, they sure as heck don’t act like they wanna be there. Not only did I have to battle “fresh from break” brains/bodies, but this past week the wind has been INSANE! The wind [at least here in Southeast St. E] was as strong as it was when Hurricane Sandy passed through. Trying to teach over voices is one thing, then add flying dirt, grass, and wind in the ears. Yeah. Nearly impossible. I say nearly, because I actually DID accomplish something.
I’m preparing my students for a test that I’m giving next week. The President’s Challenge (I do not know why it’s called this, I got it off the internet). They (grades 2-6) will perform in 5 separate areas: V-Reach (like sit and reach), Sit-Ups (how many can do in 60 seconds), Push-Ups (how many they can do before falling on their faces), Shuttle Run, and the Mile. This week, I was showing them the proper form on how to do the V-Reach, Sit-Ups, and Push-Ups. Gaaahh!! To get these kids to shut up, stop moving, stop kicking/punching/pinching/anything to the person next to them…THEY DON’T LISTEN! Maybe one or three students would listen. I mean, I told my grade 6 girls to get in groups of 3, and I saw groups of 7, 5, 4, maybe one group of 3? Seriously?! Nobody could sit or stand still for longer than 2 seconds (literally). I ripped into my grade 4 students, cuz they decided that once they got outside, the world owed them all something, I dunno. Seriously, I guess I was never a “trouble maker” or someone who disturbed class, so I don’t understand the point of it (I didn’t then and I don’t now). It just sets all lesson plans back and inhibits the learning of those who WANT to learn and pay attention. PICKNEY!! MI NUH PLAY WID UNUH!! NOW SITDUNG AN SHUT YUH MOUTE! kmt…Mi cyaan badda.. cho man! Hopefully the wind will go down and next week we can get the first three exercises out the way. After that, we gotta do the running stuff to get in gear for SPORTS DAY (err Track and Field without the field events)!!
Anywho… Ohh.. My grade 1 class… We’re pen-paling with a grade one class back in the States. Actually, from Prairie View, my old elementary school! And the teacher of the class we’re writing with, one of my good friends from high school, Caitlin Gerrish err Riley, now. Her class sent a letter right before break, so we just got the opportunity to write back. Kids are adorable. Caitlin also sent some pictures and when I showed the grade 1 teach and my principal, the first thing they both said, “Look at that playground!” Yup. Most kids in the States don’t realize that perhaps their “crappy” playground equipment isn’t found everywhere. My kids have one set of monkey bars (about 6 bars on it), a flat soccer ball, and a playfield. Yup that’s it. Oh and it’s shared for all 6 grades during the combined lunch. Yyyuuup… Kids get creative, though. They got this weird way to play Baseball. Sometimes they have a kooshie ball, if not, they use crumpled up paper. They throw it in the air, hit it with their hand, and run the bases that are all about 3ft a part, lol. It’s definitely modified. Oh yeah, there’s the occasional fight over the jump ropes as well. Ha..
In other news, I GOT MY HAIRS CUT TODAY!! Grandma and Grandpa Clancy helped sponsor said hair cut, thanks for the check. I finally found a place I love to go to get my hair done. I’ve gone there a few times since June and the ladies are awesome. I teach one the lady’s sons, and he’s a good student, if not my best, so that’s good. Anywho, I have neglected to get my hair cut by a Jamaican, cuz well, they’re just not “used” to cutting “my kinda hair.” haha.. But my hair was getting too long and I couldn’t wait another few weeks til I saw Courtney (PCV chick in my same group that cut my hair back in July). So I went, trusted the chick an am pleased with the results.
Well, ammo check out for now. I plan to clean tomorrow. Also, I’m trying to start a community newspaper! So far a good response, but we’ll see what happens when it actually come down to it. More on that as the project unfolds.
Hope everyone is doing great and hasn’t already failed in their New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been on top of mine all week. Worked out at 6am all week long! Yay me! OKayy… feel free to send me cards, letters, money, toys for my kids, ideas, encouragement, prayers, and all that good stuff.