I have been snapped back into reality with a full-time job. I haven’t been obligated to uphold a strict work schedule since 2014. Although serving in the Peace Corps was tougher in a lot of ways, extremely draining, and required me to be “on” 24 hours a day, as a volunteer, I had a lot more flexibility and leeway than I have now.
We started school on March 8th despite the fact that our school construction has yet to be completed. The school is finished enough to conduct classes; however, after hours the construction continues. It is moving slowly but surely- Peruvian time!
I have 5 full days of teaching English to grades 1-6. Most of my classes are 45 minutes long (which is perfect!) but several of the sections have been combined to create an hour and a half session. I am finding it hard to keep the kids in the younger grades interested in a foreign language for an hour and a half- We switch activities about every 5-10 minutes (which requires a tremendous amount of energy on my part); however, I still tend to lose their attention after about an hour.
I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for teachers. This job is NOT easy! Currently my two largest challenges are the differing levels of English the students possess and classroom management. Several of my students have a parent from South Africa or England and speak fluent English. For others, I am teaching their very first English lesson. It is tough to keep the fluent speakers challenged and not overwhelm other students! In addition, I am having trouble controlling my classes. The younger kids are tough to control due to the language barrier and some of the older classes have a majority of students with special needs. It is hard even to address these needs when you speak the same language but trying to break up fights, keep attention, and communicate with kids with ADHD, ODD, Autism and Asperger’s in Spanish is extremely challenging. I feel highly underqualified. I hope it gets easier!
Any tips/suggestions are welcome!