- Amanda McKinney
First Day of School!!
Yesterday was my tenth day of living in Pucallpa and I finally unpacked my last box! Not that everything is actually put away in an organized fashion, but all the boxes are empty! And that isn’t even the beginning of what happened yesterday…
I began teaching in the school!!! Well, I officially joined all the activities and had great aspirations to start teaching…
As soon as morning chapel was over, Carlos (the deaf teacher who I will be working with teaching the deaf students), gave me the grand tour and took me to all the classrooms where the deaf students are. Even though the teachers don’t know sign language and there are no interpreters, the deaf kids stay with their grade class except when Carlos or I pull them out to work with them individually. So I met most of the deaf students and all of the teachers for those students. I will not remember them all tomorrow…. I’ve decided as soon as I meet someone, I need to take a picture of them and then make note cards with photos and names.
Next, I went to chat with the 6th grade teachers to figure out what time would be best for me to teach English to their classes. There are three 6th grade classes and I will be teaching an English class to each of them once a week throughout the school year…we’ll see how much they can learn!
So, I at least knew what times of the week I would be teaching English, but Carlos and I still haven’t figured out a written schedule for himself or I for when we are each going to work with which deaf students. It’s a little complicated because there are 17 deaf students:
1 in pre-k who is considered “special,” but I haven’t met him yet to see why they deem him as such,
3 in first grade (one of which is also autistic),
2 in second grade,
1 in third grade,
4 in fourth grade,
3 in sixth grade, and
3 that are too old to be in primary school but their parents want them to learn more, so they stay in Carlos and my classroom the whole morning. One of these students is also autistic and requires a lot of one-on-one attention and redirecting
So Carlos and I spent a lot of the morning searching for more tables and chairs that would fit in our very small classroom since 3 “big kids” take up most of the space. Then I proceeded to write a list of all the deaf kids’ names, grades, teachers’ names, etc. so I can start memorizing. Then, in the middle of me doing that, I ended up giving an impromptu lesson about what to do and not do when someone has a seizure cause one of the big kids had a petit mal/absence seizure and Carlos and the other non-autistic “big kid” about freaked out. That was interesting trying to keep them calm while making sure the student having the seizure didn’t hurt herself. But it all ended well and I have now been designated to speak with her family today to make sure they know she has seizures.
I did end the school day being able to work with the third grader who I actually worked with the last time I was here! It was great! He didn’t seem to have improved much, but he didn’t appear to have digressed!
I then spent the rest of the afternoon emptying the last of the boxes and feeling quite accomplished! After a much needed cool shower, I decided to make myself an avocado sandwich and proceeded to stab myself in the palm quite fiercely while cutting open the avocado. Apparently I shouldn’t be allowed to use knives… :-P After cleaning it out and while applying pressure, I was hit with a massive wave of nausea and I was pretty sure I would soon pass out if I didn’t lay down. After 2 rounds of quickly heading to my bed to make sure if I passed out it wasn’t on the floor, I applied some superglue to the stab site, finally ate my avocado sandwich, and then proceeded to write the text for this blog…. what a day….