It’s been an interesting two weeks. I’m not sure I have much content to fill y’all in on but I’ll make do…
Since we last talked, I was invited to attend this grand Education conference on “Visible Thinking” -one of the latest trends in education. Yes, even teaching has it’s trends. At first I wasn’t so thrilled to give up my entire Friday evening as it was from 8am-6:30pm but the more people started talking about it, the more I started to get excited. There were 3 key-note speakers, Daniel Wilson, an American guy from Harvard, Ana María Fernández, a Colombian lady who owns several pre-schools in the US and Douglas Fisher, another American guy from San Diego State University.
^^ Oddly enough, I've walked by the poster in the metro every day without much thought
When we arrived to the conventions center, I was shocked at how enormous it was and how many other educators were attending. There were booths every which way selling various educational products and books. There were waiters walking around with pastries, biscuits and coffee. Naturally, my two co-workers/friends and I spent our time collecting all the free stuff. There’s no high like a free-pen high. I often abuse the “free-pens” signs and take 3 or 4… Hey, if this is my worst crime in life...
The conference itself was very interesting. I really enjoyed the two American speakers, I found them fascinating –they held my interest the entire time they were talking. The Colombian lady had a good presentation but it was more philosophical so I constantly felt “okay that sounds great, I understand why we need to be doing that, but how are we supposed to do it?” She didn’t give any concrete strategies or advice on how to implement all of the pretty words she was saying.
Overall, I learned so much during the day, I’m so glad that I pushed myself to go. The conference was not cheap to attend either. It was about $225 per person, so I consider myself very lucky that SC picked up the bill.
The lunch was probably where half of that money went… I felt like I was at a wedding! We had a four-course meal! By far, the fanciest lunch I’ve ever had (and probably will ever have) with my fellow educators. To fill in some questions, there were about 700 people who attended, from all over the world. So they had these little earpieces where a live-translator was translating for both the Spanish and English speakers. When the American guy would tell a joke, I would laugh and most others would laugh a few moments later once the translator had finished. I tried it out with the Colombian lady because I really had to understand the content. I have a newfound respect and awe towards translators.
In continuation… things have been good at school. Dani and I are coming to the realization that we have the best class in first grade. There are some students and classes that are just terrors! All of us are scratching our heads each day asking what is wrong with this particular generation?!
This past week, I started to feel a cold coming on. I didn’t take it to mean much as I have a cold every other week. But by Wednesday afternoon, I started to feel really bad. My body was exhausted, my eyes were heavy and I could not stop coughing, sneezing and blowing my nose. I felt so bad that I missed the after-school meeting and went straight to buy some soup and then to bed.
^^ Chile really needs to get Panera down here
The next day I went to the doctor because my head was also really bothering me. Let me tell you, navigating a Chilean doctor’s offices as a foreigner should be on The Amazing Race. The system is so confusing, and each office has their own system of doing things. So it's not like once you've figured one out, you've figured them all out. That would be too easy. But luckily I figured this one out on my own. The doctor told me I had a bad sinus infection and gave me licencia (a doctor’s note) and antibiotics. Licencia allows you to be absent from work and still get paid.
After feeling miserable for about 4 days, I’m finally starting to come around. I have gone a bit stir-crazy hulled up in my apartment. León has been a sweetheart but also a pest.
I asked the kids what the date was and one very seriously raised his hand and replied, “today is the 89th of May”
Our Librarian just returned back from her honeymoon and was greeting the kids. One of my students raised his hand and told her “Miss did you know I’m married? I got married to ______ in playgroup (pre-school)” and all the others remembered and started reminiscently nodding.
During our center-time, one of my students interrupted my group crying and told me “Miss, Vicente called me a poroto!” He was so upset that ‘poroto’ had to have meant something very bad. I talked to Vicente for a long time about how we cannot call our friends such bad things like that. Come to find out, ‘poroto’ means bean. Vicente called him a bean.
^^ For our school fundraiser, the teachers were asked to donate adult diapers, I was so embarrassed buying them in the store!
^^ We use pillows a lot in the class. This week I heard the kids fighting over who got to use "the sexy dog pillow" apparently they've taken it upon themselves to give it a name.
^^ FB chatting with my #1. PS FB Chat has awesome filters
Dog Friends of the week:
^^ This stray came to play at the dog park. He was so sweet, I don't understand why anybody could have abandoned him. He would have happily come home with me.
^^ Wrinkles hangs outside the bus stop near work. He has a home, he's just a rebel.
See you soon!