Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And the sadness has fallen upon me...

All the gifts I received today
Today was full of surprises. I walked into my first class at 10am with fifth of primary and was shocked to see the board full of messages. They clapped and pointed at the board. I knew something was going on, because one of the boys kept peeking around down the stairs to see who was coming.

The kids had written farewell notes all over the board! I didn't realize how much they loved me. They really did enjoy every week that I spent trying make them understand my accent. I had fun with them. It's ok to be silly in front of kids, because they love it and won't judge you for it.

This is my favorite

The class also decorated a small poster board and some sheets of paper. As they were walking up to me with the papers, I suddenly started to feel sad. I leave on Thursday and will not see them probably for a very long time. If I return to Spain in October, I will make sure to visit them and bring them some goodies from the states.

They gave this to me after class

To try to make the last day fun, but a little challenging, I gave a powerpoint test. During English week in March, I showed the students a powerpoint on Georgia. I thought it would be fun to have them answer questions about the facts they learned. I simply modified my powerpoint by adding questions with multiple choices.. They had one minute to write down the answers.

The peach state!

Here were the questions:
Where is Georgia located?- most of them answered correctly
What is the capital of Georgia?- as I am sometimes a dummy, I first put "What is the capital of Atlanta?"...idiot. I changed the question to. Where was Bionca born? some people put Augusta, because I live there but others knew it was a trick.
What is the population of Georgia?-
Which building is not located in Georgia?
What is a nickname for Georgia? I was totally disappointed with the group that chose "watermelon state"
What is the state bird?
What is the state tree?
What is the state song? they actually started singing the song
What is the state flower?
What is the state dance? i glared at the ones who chose cha cha cha, some were tripped up by the east coast swing option
What is the state food?
What is the name of the large swamp park in Georgia? The basque students chose chacolina, haha get, txakoli (chacolí) is a basque white wine.
Which one of these famous people are not from Georgia?    this one was easy

They were more competitive than usual because they really wanted the special prize. I allowed the winning group to choose any song for the class to listen to. The group chose ¨Rayos de sol¨by Jose de Rico and Henry Mendez. Yes, the students choose a spanish song in english class. One of the students was upset that her group didn't win and told me that it was more logical to choose a song in English. haha.

When class was over, one of the students asked me if I would visit them some day. I will most definitely try my best. That group was one of my favorites.

The next class was fourth of primary. They also colored on some papers and gave them to me as gifts!
As far as the Georgia test, they weren't as successful. We didn't have a chance to get to the prize because of their behavior. Some students were yelling and a girl spit in a boy's face so...

So moving on...

 After fourth of primary, I was interviewed by first of secondary (7th grade) about my year in Spain. They wanted to write something about me for their school magazine. I was very nervous although they asked very simple questions. One of the girls asked me what had happened to make me smile so much. haha. I replied, ¨soy así.¨ (I'm just this way)

Afterwards I went to buy some candy for the next class (sixth of primary). They need a little motivation sometimes, because they have English class at 3pm after a two-hour lunch break. They livened up once we started the game, but a little too much. The head teacher made them separate and do the test on their own, because she had told them to be quiet three times.

This is hilarious. I told them last week that we would play a game with facts about Georgia. This boy took it seriously and wrote it down. 
They became excited again by the end of the class, because they had some gifts for me. They started clapping and then gave me some flowers and a poster board with their class photo and names.

 I was touched by their thoughtfulness and surprised by the amount of work they put into the gifts. I said goodbye to them and passed out chocolate bars.

I was overwhelmed with love from the students. I know they were upset with me sometimes and other times bored out of their minds, but they were excited to have me there. This was even true with the 12 year old students who were very difficult to handle. It seemed as if they didn't want to improve their English at all, but they bragged about me all the time. They too, presented me with handmade gifts and other "recuerdos" (memories- no one knew the translation for recuerdo).

From 1st of secondary

1st of secondary

After class was over, I happily dragged all my stuff to the official language school to show off my students' work. The professors and I giggled over the students' attempts to write in English, but I was proud of their effort. I didn't do very much today. Many of the adult students have taken their exams, so the library was empty. I laughed a lot and practiced with the few students who showed up, and took lots of walks until it was time to go home. When I arrived home, I rearranged my suitcases and started writing. And I'm still here at the computer trying to decide if I will stay home or come back and work in Basque country. It's a difficult decision. And the kindness from my students today made the decision even more difficult. If I return next year, I won't be at their school, but I will be a short distance away.

Well, I'll see what happens this summer. If I'm meant to return, I'll be here once again to complain about my work schedule and recount awkward and funny moments with my students.


Hasta luego.


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