Substitute teacher for a day, Science class in three different 6th grade groups…
Before we came to live here (Mexico City) I had always worked as a teacher in several areas, from language to literature to art appreciation all spoken in English. In theory, today wasn’t something new to me, so why was I feeling uncomfortable with the idea…?
This is how my self-pep-talk went, “Why are you feeling a bit nervous? don’t try to convince yourself that you aren’t when we both (me and myself) know you are! It’s OK, it’s been a year since you were in a classroom in front of a group. Oh, but you’ve always dealt with teenagers and children make you feel uneasy…Ooooh, it’s not exactly the children themselves but what they may say about you at home…What can they say? you’ll be with them a short while and their teacher will leave enough work to keep them busy. Yeah I know, they find a way to question even the slightest thing…Yep, I also hope they don’t ask us our age! So come on, snap out of it (remember Moonstruck?!) take a deep breath, you know they’re gonna like you, you’ll find a way to make them laugh and time’ll go by so quickly, you’ll soon be back here checking your email, and making beds and doing lunch and taking the husband’s clothes to the cleaners…aaaaa…please just GO!”
And I went…Wow, 6th graders, they’re about 12 or 13 years old, nothing, and I mean NOTHING intimidates them, not even my mean, old self…
and the questions started…Miss, your name, what is? to which I thought HERE WE GO…I answered back WHAT IS YOUR NAME? -as I try to explain this to you (the person reading this) I notice how important it is to have heard a person from this city talk…jajajaaaa..they’ve got this accent that makes the last syllable in a question a long one making even an incorrect question form sound correct to them-
next question…Miss, why do you write that way? Using only capital letters, it’s very hard to read.
next…Miss, where did you study? …and they named all the universities they’ve heard of, jajajaaa EVEN HARVARD, jajajaaaaa I WISH!!!
next…Miss, why do you have a different accent than we do?
…Miss, do we need to copy everything that’s on the board?
…Miss, what if we don’t finish…? will it be for homework? I don’t want to have more homework…
Of course everything was spoken in very clear SPANGLISH…and I had the moral, ethic, administrative obbligation to correct them as they spoke… as they wrote
I had lots of fun and I had the chance to see a bit into MY children’s future. I’ve always known it but today I had another chance to confirm it:
~Making an effort to have your children in a good school is the best investment you are going to make
~Paying close attention to who your child will spend at least half the day with will give you insight into your own child’s behavior
~If your child’s learning a second language in school FIND A WAY TO MAKE THE TEACHER TALK IN THE LANGUAGE AND LISTEN CLOSELY, that way you’ll know what to expect
~We love our children, but that doesn’t mean they’re little angels everywhere they go, believe me WHEN THE CAT’S AWAY THE MICE COME OUT TO PLAY
~AND…THE GOOD TEACHER always has her students well-being, academic growth, self-esteem, achievement as her priority, don’t undermine him/her you can make an excellent team because you’ve got the same interest at heart
Oh, btw, they just called me back for another day of substituting BUT NOW WITH 1ST GRADERS…I hope it’s nothing like what I go through trying to make my son do his homework…
WISH ME LUCK!!! read me soon, read you soon