Week Two: Feb. 20-26
Week 2: February 20-24, 2017
Picking up where Lauren left off on quite the cliffhanger, we had an amazing weekend! With absolutely gorgeous weather on Saturday, we ventured down to central Athens and walked around the flea market and shopping areas. Being the super American tourists that we are, we obviously had to get at least one major attraction checked off our list, so we went to the ancient agora of Athens, which was so amazing. On Sunday we went to the Acropolis and yes, it is just as breathtaking in person as it is in pictures. Being a low-key Ancient Greece nerd this was an incredible experience for me, and I’ll probably be going multiple times over the next few months!
I think all of the children officially know my name by now (at least in my morning classroom), and they all seem comfortable with me and we’re starting to form some trusting relationships. Most of them still turn to their regular teacher first, which is to be expected, but hopefully with time they’ll see me as an equal authority in the classroom, especially approaching my lead weeks. I’m teaching my first lesson tomorrow in the junior kindergarten (JK) classroom! I’ll be leading their morning group time, and hopefully by leading a routine that everyone is used to it will be a good way to introduce me as more of a lead teacher role in the class. On Friday I’m implementing a lesson plan in the OLP (special education) classroom, which is a much different atmosphere. This will be one-on-one with a second grader whom I’ve only met twice before. Planning is much more challenging with this placement because for most of the students we don’t know what they need to be working on until their homeroom teachers tell us that morning. It is especially challenging for me because I’ve never been in this type of setting before, working on-on-one with older students (as old as fifth grade), and not really knowing quite how much support I should be offering each individual student. I suppose it comes with a lot of practice and experience, and I’m hopeful that I’ll feel more confident as the weeks go on.
By the way, Lauren and I have been in survival mode for the last 5 or so days, because the wifi in our apartment doesn’t work! We lost power for a short while on Thursday evening, and a few hours later our wifi was a mess. By Sunday evening (when all of our assignments were due) we were able to get in contact with customer support and they fixed it for us, but then an hour later we had to call back and get them to do it again…not a good sign. It is now Tuesday and neither our landline nor our wifi works, so this time we can’t even call to have them fix it (this would happen to us). Luckily we have wifi at the school so any communication we need to make with the outside world or any assignments we need to submit can be done there for the time being. Fingers crossed that everything works out soon!
This week has really flown by! It does not seem like we are closing in on our second week here. The relationships that I have with my clinical educator and the rest of the teaching team have really helped me feel comfortable in the classroom! I am happily surprised on how well we have all connected so quickly. I know it will certainly be used to my advantage during my lead weeks!
Aside from the teachers, the students have really captured my heart. They are very diverse in their backgrounds and languages, but share the same love for learning. It makes me excited to be their teacher (if only for a brief amount of time) because of their love and curiosity for learning. They love to hear about each other’s’ experiences, including my own, about living in a different country and their background. For example, they love hearing about YoUDee. They think that he is the greatest mascot that will probably ever live. Our classroom has a tiny stuffed one for the students to read and write to and they would always ask questions about what YoUDee did on campus. I tried to explain, but then decided a video might be a great way to sum it up. I showed them a video of YoUDee in action and they want to know when he will be visiting ACS Athens.
Everything else in the classroom is going well! The students seem to acknowledge my presence as a teacher more so this week. School work and edTPA is starting to pile up, so I cannot wait until that gets very crazy. Other than that, Fiona and I are ready for a fun-filled weekend in Vienna! We plan on seeing some of the sights while were are there and drinking some excellent coffee!
Update to the update on our wi-fi: a technician is coming on Wednesday to hopefully see what is wrong! Fingers crossed this does the job!!
Greek words learned this week:
- “Yasas” – Hello
- “Yasis” -’ Hi
- “Parakalo” – Please
- “Sygnomi” – Sorry