First Quarter Completion
Jacob – November, 2016
As the last student left the halls of the Instituto on Friday, the conclusion of the first Quarter of the school year drew to a close. It was a quarter filled with laughter, challenges, and a lot of new experiences. Upon its conclusion, I can favorably look back on the experience and look forward to the next three quarters still to come.
Coming into the school year as a first time teacher, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew there was going to be a learning curve, not only as a new teacher but as a new teacher in a foreign country. This learning curve had to be overcome quickly, as the school year started quickly after my arrival into the country. Upon receiving my classes that I would be teaching for the first semester, I was tasked with the creation of the whole curriculum for the subjects I would be teaching. There was no set school curriculum to follow. I was only handed the books for my subjects and tasked with educating my students. Several of the books I received for my subjects were also not teacher’s editions. At first, I found it difficult not having a school curriculum to follow. However, I quickly learned to enjoy it. This opportunity of creating my own curriculum allows me to teach the students I deem essential. It also allows me to focus on topics that I believe are most beneficial and interesting for the students. It overall allows me the flexibility and freedom to be myself as a teacher and implement my mark on my classes.
Specifically, during the first quarter I taught 7th grade Geography, 7th grade Life Science, 8th grade Earth science, and 10th grade psychology. All of these classes are in English. This work load put me at 6 subject classes with 33 in class teaching hours per week. This work load has been the hardest part of my teaching job, as I feel like I am constantly on the move. It seems like my work is never truly done, as there is always something more to do. I sometimes feel like during the week I am in survival mode and just persevering to get to the weekend. I wish I had more time to devote to planning for classes, but I have come to realize that this is largely not possible as there is just not enough time to adequately plan for each and every class. I have come to accept this and am satisfied knowing I am giving it all I have with the time I have. I hope this workload will be reduced this coming quarter as there is a teacher coming back from maternity leave.
My favorite part of teaching so far has to be interacting with the students. The students are all just so unique, special, and full of life. The best moments is when you connect with the students and they truly digest and understand the information being presented to them. Every once in a while you will just have an amazing class, when I am just on my game and the class is right with you, participating and inputting insightful information. I’m feeding off of their energy and they are feeding off of mine, setting up an ideal environment for learning. Now these amazing classes might be far in between but they are the goal of each class. Of course there is always the exact opposite, when my lesson just completely falls apart and the students have no idea what I am talking about.
Overall the experience so far has been extremely unique and has pushed me in numerous facets as an individual. It has been enjoyable and I look forward to this coming quarter.