Day 2 down! It was our first day at the school, and it was AWESOME! Here’s the corresponding journal entry:
Honduras Day 2: May 14, 2013
Another early morning awaited us, much to our dismay. However, after our long nights of sleep (many of us went to bed at 8:00, but I, being the night owl I am, went to bed at 10), we were rested and refreshed for the awesome day ahead: our first visit to Allison Bixby Stone School! We all met in the lobby at 7:30 and walked to breakfast, which consisted of beans, plantains, eggs (albino again), some kind of sausage, bread, and juice. Most of us began to open up a little bit during our meal and we actually chatted a little, compared to the previous day’s awkward, quiet meals. As a joke, we even started a list called, “Things Megan Says,” because one of the girls in our group has some very random (and absolutely hilarious) phrases she says. We walked the 10 minutes to the school, and the fun began.
The day started in the school’s small library, where Julie, the principal, talked with us about the school’s history and some of the things we’d be expecting while being there. She explained to us that ABSS is a Pre-K through 6thgrade school and is one of the only schools in the world that is accredited and provides scholarships to the students (it’s a private school). She also stressed to us the importance of the bilingual aspect of their school, and how over 3 hours of instruction each day were entirely in English, even in the Pre-K and kindergarten classrooms! In fact, some of the younger students’ uniforms had EBABS embroidered on their pants, which, when asked, they explained it stood for Escuela Bilingüe Allison Bixby Stone. Julie proceeded to tell us about some of the teachers that work at the school, and absolutely raved about them. We could not be more excited to see what she spoke of so highly for ourselves.
Our wish was soon granted. We were given the freedom to tour each classroom for a couple hours to observe and see which teachers and students we connected with so we could decide which classroom we’d like to stay in permanently for the next couple weeks. So, we partnered up and began our self-tour. Here’s a slight breakdown of how I spent my tour time:
· Pre-K: These little munchkins were absolutely adorable! Although they ran around quite a bit, we got to listen to them sing some songs (including Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Wheels on the Bus and Hokey Pokey) and do little dances. They were so cute!
· Kindergarten: Again, absolutely adorable! The kids were doing centers, so I got to work with some cuties on making shapes out of pipe cleaners. Also, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what a rhombus was in Kindergarten…
· 2ndgrade: The teacher was reading aloud to the students and asking them questions that engaged them in the story, like, “What do you think will happen next?” and “What would you do in this situation?” It was really fun to see!
· 3rd grade: My absolute favorites! We got to see them working in the computer lab for a little bit, and then saw them do a language arts lesson. They were so friendly and loved to talk!
· 4thgrade: These students were working on words that indicate whether something is a fact or an opinion, so we got to see them work on those.
· 6thgrade: We got to work with these students in their Spanish classroom as well as in their regular classroom. I also really liked these students! There was one girl, Karina, who loved asking questions. They were really sweet!
After our self tours, we had lunch, cooked by the parent of one of the students at the school. This meal consisted of some delicious chicken, rice, salad, and tortillas, as well as mora, the yummy red juice we had the other night. We also got our classroom assignments, and I was lucky enough to be placed in 3rdgrade!! But more of that in a bit…
After lunch was recess, which was super cool to be a part of. ABSS has a very large playground and lots of space for the students to run around in. So, a couple of the younger girls roped us into playing a game where one person stands in the middle of a circle and spins around with their eyes closed and when they stop, the person they’re pointing to has to tell a secret. It was really funny, especially when they got really embarrassed when spilling the secret that they had boyfriends. Afterwards, we tried to teach them the game “Down By The Banks,” but the bell rang before we had a chance to finish the game.
We got our first chance to be with our permanent classroom assignments after recess, so the first thing Becca and I got to do was accompany the 3rdgraders to music class with Mr. Carlos. Everyone at the school talked about how cool Mr. Carlos was, and I can attest to that! He was so patient with the students, and the whole lesson was in Spanish which was pretty nifty. Some of the girls in the class, Roxeli, Grecia, and Ana begged me to sit by them, so I did. The students got to break out into different instrument groups later on (guitar, drums, recorder/flute, and keyboard), so I went with the keyboard girls. They demanded my attention as they impressed us with their renditions of “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” and I got to teach some of them “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as well. At the end, all the students came together to play a song as one big band. It was pretty cool!
We went back to the regular classroom afterwards and worked with the kids a little on their advertisement posters for their Market Day on Friday. We got to chat with Miss Lacey, the teacher, during this time. She taught in Texas for about 5 years before coming to Honduras and has been down here for about 4 years. She said she really enjoys structure, but she is totally willing to let Becca and I get involved in the classroom and maybe even teach a lesson! Can’t wait!
I love those little munchkins already. They love chatting with you and asking questions, and would not stop bugging us about which we preferred, the Barcelona soccer team or the Madrid team. Plus, they LOVE hugs, which I also love! They constantly come up and want to wrap their arms around you or hold your hand or things like that, which is totally frowned upon in the States. Even the students who haven’t said a word to you will come up and embrace you. Soooo awesome!
There were several things about the school that surprised me. First, I was surprised about how nice the facility was! Even though the classrooms were pretty small, there were playgrounds and desks for everyone, plus a computer lab and a library. Also, everything was pretty Americanized. There were posters hanging in some of the rooms that I had in my elementary school classrooms! Apparently, the curriculum is based off of different states’ curriculums in the United States and mixed with the Honduran curriculum. However, they have a little bit more freedom because the standards are more individualized to the students’ needs, unlike in the US. Another thing we learned was that a lot of Honduran schools don’t have much outdoor space to play in, but ABSS had plenty! I absolutely loved it!
The school day ended at 3, so the group walked back to the hotel to grab our swim suits to head to the pool. We made a quick stop at the little store on campus first, where I bought a caramel granita, a frappacino of sorts. It was delicious! At the pool, most of us worked on our assignments, which consisted of a lot of reading, but it was so beautiful! We met for dinner at 6 (chicken, rice, rolls, broccoli, fruit cups) and had our first “class” where we discussed one of the chapters of one of the books we had to read. We also had to pass out the phones that Eloisa had bought, and the group put me in charge of it. Hah…
We also chatted about how it’s totally cool with them if we get invited to go to parties with the students at Zamorano, but that we’d probably get really crazy when we go to Copán, because that’s where the night clubs are! Super fun, can’t wait J
Now, a bunch of us are working on assignments and such. Ready for an early morning tomorrow for our first day with our assigned classrooms!!
Check out this gorgeous bell tower on campus…kinda like at Purdue!
Pre-K song time!
3rd grade música con mi amiga, Grezia!
Una caramel granita!
Buenas noches, amigos 🙂