Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So after three days of being a teacher at the school in Turi, I'm not really settled in yet but I am already learning a lot. I am starting to see the less romantic side of working cross-culturally/the non-profit & volunteer world (the one I hope to work in once I graduate.) It's rewarding and I love it, but it's not as easy as I thought it would be. It's not just playing with niños all morning and teaching them how to say "dog" and "cat" in English.

It's figuring out the bus system all by myself. It's learning that I need to be prepared to teach any level, any day, because the school doesn't appear to have a set class schedule. It's adjusting to dealing with a culture that does not function on the same time table as my own. It's having to deal with children who won't stop asking for the bathroom key, won't stop pulling each others' hair, won't stop cheating at the games, won't bring their notebooks to class, and having to discipline them in Spanish. It's putting in lots of extra time designing my own curriculum without access to a good printer or any school supplies for that matter. It's learning to be flexible and helpful in other ways when I show up to class and the teacher has forgotten to tell me the students have a science exam at the same time they asked me to teach.

On the other hand, it's adorable niñas who yell out the window "I want english with you today, teacher!!" It's getting to know the kids, getting to ask them about their lives, watching them start to slowly open up. It's an invigorating challenge. It's feeling really special when one of the students spends her last 15 cents to buy me a galleta. It's putting in all my effort and hoping that by the beginning of May, the kids are a little more excited about learning English. It's their extreme excitement when they win the game that involves practicing the alphabet. It's not what I expected but it's so worth it! And I can't wait to see what my last six weeks have in store...


  1. Hi Kellie - sounds challenging! I know you are learning a lot about culture, kids and yourself. I'll be praying for you - for creativity and patience and continued good health. Love you! Mom

  2. Have any of the kids locked you out of the room yet? Paybacks......... :)

    I know you're up to the task. Thanks for pouring youself into those kids.