Tuesday, November 6, 2007

School & stuff

So sleeeeeepy, but I'll try to update more about life (and be as concise as possible).


School:
  • I really like the teacher that I'm working with. Carolyn's from England and has been teaching for over 20 years in pre-k, k, 1st, and in 3rd for 2-3 years I think. She's very nice and willing to help me in any way, as well as wanting me to jump in as much as possible. I started out my first day working with a spelling group of children who barely speak English!! EEEEEK!
  • Carolyn also likes me though, since I wasn't afraid to jump in and tell kids to quiet down or stop fooling around even on my first day. (I'm totally my mother's daughter on that one!!) She's also super excited that I told her I actually enjoy organizing paperwork and stuff. I'm going to be in charge of organizing her (and the other 3rd grade teacher, Mareide's) huge notebooks of assessment paperwork. =)
  • Our class, 3A, consists of 20 children..... 11 girls and 9 boys. Of these, I think only 2 kids are actually fully Danish! The rest of the students come from a wide variety of countries including several from America, as well as students from Japan, New Zealand, England, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, and more.
  • Many of the students speak several other languages in addition to English. One boy was telling me that he's fluent in 3 languages and working on learning 2 others!! FIVE languages at a point that most American children can barely speak ONE! Oyyyyy.
  • However, there are also 5 children who speak little-to-no English. The best English-speakers of this group: boy who moved from Latvia (speaks Latvian & Russian) sometime last year and a girl from Japan (speaks Japanese, duh) who moved in about April. Then, there is another girl who is also from Japan and came in September. And at the very bottom, speaking/understanding almost no English at all, are a set of boy-girl twins who moved here from Hungary (speak German only) about 3 weeks ago. I feel really bad that these kids never know what's going on in the classroom!! Luckily, there are several kids who can translate for the twins and one boy in the class who can translate into Japanese for the 2 girls. (The Latvian boy understands a good majority of English phrases now.)
  • Aside from some language barriers, these guys are pretty similar to my 3rd graders from home. This class seems to be a little ahead of where my MA students are in their math and writing, but just as loud and energetic!!!
  • I have the day off tomorrow because they're having a professional development day that's about things unimportant to me, so Carolyn said not to bother going in at all. YAY!

Family:

  • They are still wonderful and I'm going to miss them all very much when I move on Saturday. =( Bettina, Jan, and I have been chatting quite a bit more lately and it's been a lot of fun.
  • I bonded with Amalie last night over Grey's Anatomy episodes that I'd downloaded. I really do like her a lot, I just haven't socialized with her too much. I usually just kinda freeze up and don't know what to talk about with her. She's unlike any 16 year old girl I've ever known, but not in a bad way. She seems very mature for her age.
  • Victor has finally started interacting with me more!! In English even! He's just started really want to know what we're all talking about in English and is always asking what we're saying. Tonight we went to Saskia's apartment and he asked Bettina about where I was going to be moving to, then said that he really wants to visit me at the new apartment. I also saw him looking at a calendar later, counting how many days until I leave. Way cute!
  • He came in here a little while ago and asked carefully in English (after Jan coached him how) if I wanted some tea. Then, he sat next to me for a few minutes just watching me checking my emails and stuff, just wanting to hang out I guess. Although it might have been that he was hoping I'd show him pictures and videos again, like I did last night. (Nothing is better than watching camp staff members dance and try to build a human pyramid!!!) He also has been following Malthe's lead in saying hello, goodbye, and goodnight to me in English all the time. He's a really sweet kid once he starts opening up some (and isn't in a bad mood)!
  • And Malthe is still adorable. I'm going to walk him to school tomorrow morning because Bettina and Jan both have to work and Amalie is staying at Saskia's for a few days. He was at a friend's house this afternoon, but Bettina told him that I was going to be bringing him to school in the morning and he just got a huge grin on his face. He's very excited to spend time with me! =) He has really been trying hard to learn English to speak with me and is always asking Bettina or Jan how to say something to me. When we got home tonight he came in and said, "Here, a present for you!" and gave me a ring made out of twisted copper wires. That and his huge smile just made me want to melt. Where can I order a kid just like him???? I think I'll miss seeing/listening to him the most! =)
  • Love love loooooove this whole family and I will definitely be back visiting them a lot before I leave! And maybe I can convince them to come see Massachusetts sometime so I can show them there's more to the US than just NYC!!

Coming attractions:

  • Bed ASAP! I barely slept last night because I couldn't fall asleep (and could hear Victor talking in his sleep a lot, teeheehee), it was a very long and loud day, and I've still got to be up early to get Malthe ready and walk him to school.
  • Thennnn, I'm off to find out about getting a prepaid cell phone to use while I'm here....as well as do some shopping!!
  • Bank to cash in travelers cheques, I'm down to about $20USD from the $150ish that I started with.
  • Roselle, my professor/supervisor, is coming to visit and "observe" me teaching here from Friday-Tuesday! Short trip but I'll introduce her around to everybody and she's coming in to the school on Monday before she leaves.
  • Saturday is when I move to Marie & Casey's; I'll update more on that later in the week! They're both super busy and things are a bit crazy with it all, but still good.

Okay, I've really got to go sleep now. I've had to correct about 15 typos in the last 2 min. of writing, eek!! Love and goodnight.

2 comments:

Helene said...

Hi,
Welll, I finished my first practice with all the kids. Your Reilly is adorable! She came with my team today. There are very few who have experience on any team.

I sure miss chatting with you ... however, if I don't get home until 7 or 8 pm, no way you'll still be up. Then at 7 a.m., you are already gone. Tomorrow, maybe I'll get on around 6:30 or 7:00 and chat with ya..

You sound like you are having a ball! It is everything you had hoped! I am super, super proud of you, you know.

I hope you introduce me to this family while I'm over there. I did get a blog, did I tell you? So creative... heleneindenmark.blogspot.com. I told my class today so they could talk to me while I'm gone. This class has grown on me, but then, so does fungus!
Love you bunches and miss you tons.
Mom

Sue said...

OMG everything sounds SO AMAZING!! :-D
The whole thing with the kids and where they're from and all the languages.. just blows my mind. Americans are so stupid, lol. That's just insane all the languages they know and they can help each other out and everything, that's so awesome! Talk about cultural diversity!! :) So cool!

So glad things with the teacher are good so far :)

That's soooo great that you're bonding with the family so well in such little time :) I'm sure its a great experience for them as well as for you. It's interesting you pointing out how they're trying to learn more English to talk to you in English, I hope you're doing the same in Danish just as much ;)

So you've been there almost a week- what do you think your % increase of knowing Danish is? :)

You should have posted a link to your flickr account in this post, I'm too lazy to go find it :-p (I will though).

Ok, my hands are freezing and I havne't done any work yet today... I will talk to you later hopefully :)

Miss you!!!