Classes are going very well, I am so pleased with the progress the children have made.
Every morning we begin with our circle routine (calendar events, weather, songs), and every student takes a turn saying two simple sentences. Some examples: My name is _________. I am a ________ (boy/girl). These are my ________ (feet/ears/knees). I like the color ________ . This is a red shirt.
I usually teach a general lesson–new vocabulary or review the material we have covered–in a large group. My volunteers are good sports, since I often use them as props (Where is Teacher Daniel’s nose? Teacher Natalia, do you have brothers?). I am especially thankful for two graphic design majors from the Universidad de Costa Rica who have perked up our flipchart with amazing drawings.
After we have learned the subject matter, I send them off to work in small groups…filling in the blanks, label the body parts, practice writing sentences, reading comprehension among other things. I am so blessed with great volunteers, and praise God, I can send a volunteer teacher to work with a group of 3-7 children. The children’s writing and speaking abilities have improved rapidly!
After worksheets, it’s game time! And when we’ve spent most of our energy, we sit down on rugs to listen to the Bible story. This year we are reading through the life of Jesus–in English only. It’s always a challenge to tell the story in such a way for them to understand the deep truths of what Jesus did and taught, but I trust God to fill in the blanks in their young minds. I see the kids truly are following the stories, for they can answer the questions (English only) and they also comment afterwards (in Spanish) about what they learned.
Then comes listening practice, dialogues, or interactive demonstrations such as big/small items hiding in a pillowcase, stations to practice the 5 senses, name the classroom objects…And class usually ends with a fun activity, such as puzzles, a simple craft, board games or reading books.
Teacher Megan says “CLASS IS FINISHED,” to dismiss the class after an hour and a half. (I have two groups back to back)Sometimes I have to say it two or three times, as many of the students wish they could stay all day. It is common for me to walk around the room, shooing them out the door!
After several months, I no longer hear any student say “Adios”, but “Bye, Teacher!” “Thank you.” “Goodbye.” “See you later.” and “See you Monday.” I am so proud.