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Missing in Action (see pictures)
For five weeks I have been substitute teaching at Nashville School in the Valley of Angels. I have basically been ‘missing’ from updating the website and compiling the newsletter and ‘in action’ substitute teaching. It has been an incredibly busy, frustrating, exciting, exhausting, involved, yet fun time. I am extremely grateful to have had the experience, to know what subjects I like and don’t like (Science) and to meet some great 7th and 8th grades (some of which are from Santa Lucia).
For the first 3 weeks of school, we prepared for the Independence Day Parade (which is September 15th). I spent mornings helping girls learn to play on the xylophone. The problem was I did know the melodies and so at times we had to change them after they were learned. Then, on the last week we joined the drums on days and even practiced marching around the block near the school.
On the 15th, we were downtown in the Valley of Angels early. I was unable to get to the gas station where I was supposed to park, so I just turned around and parked near where I saw people from Nashville school. We had the banner, the flags, the band, the xylophones, the dancers, the cowboys and cowgirls, and the nursery school kids dressed in the back of the truck/float.
Kjell and the kids thought they would meet up with friends of ours in the Valley and watch the parade from the center of town, but the roads were blocked off and they ended up walking with us most of the way and then found our friends later. The kids at Nashville School looked great and did an awesome job. We ended a little early and a snack was provided. We caught up with our friends and had an early lunch in town. Then, we visited at their house and took their three kids back to our house for a sleepover.
After the parade, we were back to full days of classes. Quizzes needed to be made, handed in, photocopied, administered, corrected, and entered in the grade books. After quizzes, days were full of material, homework, and projects. The 7th and 8th grade prepared Health Projects on Hygiene that they shared in each of the younger grades at the school. Shortly after, we added a Geography Map project of their city. Then, it was time to finish up what I was teaching and type up some notes to hand the next teacher.
The Friday before my last week, I thought it was my birthday when we got the Geography books for 8th grade and the teacher book for 8th grade Grammar/Writing. They were beginning doors and windows and were finished by that Monday. The day before my last day, I told the students that I was only a substitute and that a new teacher would be there on Tuesday. I was surprised when kids were upset that I was leaving and were singing to me and begging me to stay. I was only there for 5 weeks! I received some really nice notes from some of the students and I was even given earrings (I did not edit the notes).
“Mrs. Fenn, I don’t know why you have to go, but I know you are a good teacher, it doesn’t matter you are not with us, but you will be in our heart. We are not going to forget you. You are the best teacher I had in all m life in the world.”
“Miss Fenn, I gone to miss you so much, your pastelito (banana bread) we love, come to see us please, bye. We love you.”
“Thank so much for help me in many things. We will miss you because you are a good teacher. I’m so happy to be your student. You are the best teachers. Thank for all.”
“I will miss you very muchhhhhhhh. Because you are a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very good teacher. Thank you 4 everything you did 4 us, 4 being very patient, thank you for telling me the truth and teach me to use the xylophone. You are a very kind person. You are a very very, very, very, very good person. This 5 weeks were very good 4 me. I love you. And I know that we are very crazy but I know you love us that way! Thanks 4 being so comprehension (*understanding or compassionate – I’m not sure which one). I don’t even know how to write comprehension! Ahhh… I wanna cry! Don’t go… It will be hard to accept a new teacher, but I know we will do it. Thanks 4 your 5 weeks. They were awesome. We love you Mrs.”
“Don’t go! PLEASE! We will miss you a lot. I’m going to cry.”
“I will miss you so much and give me another cupcake! Love you!"
Fall Teacher Conference (see pictures)
Our missionary friend Valerie Schubert asked Kjell to hold a teacher conference for her staff at Casa de Luz (daycare) Tegucigalpa and Zambrano as well as for two missionaries staying with her that home school her daughter and other children in the Zambrano community. She also invited a pastor and he invited some other teachers. We had a total of 12.
At first, it was going to be held in Zambrano, but after some transportation difficulties we offered to host it in our home. This meant that I would undertake my first catering experience ever. I was a little concerned until I realized that we often have families over to eat (their 5 plus our 6 is already 11) and sometimes whole groups (3 families) and so I began to plan accordingly (2 breaks and lunch).
We transformed the downstairs into a conference center with tables, chairs, flowers, projector, and prizes (supplied by Val). Everyone had their ‘Art of Teaching’ booklets (some in Spanish, others in English). I heard lots of laughing and learning going on. Also, everyone enjoyed all the flowers around the house and they were taking lots pictures. I prayed for a nice, sunny day and got it. It down poured 15 minutes after the last person left!
Shortly after we began The Fellowship in our home, people that had expressed interest were cancelling and unable to attend. Since it was a stress to prepare and have the cancellations (while I was substitute teaching), we decided to place The Fellowship on hold. One idea was for Kjell to start a prayer time at school with the Christians before school started (once a week). Then, maybe out of that there would be an interest for something more (bible study).
It was later that we found out the difficulty was gas money. So, we are working on another day and time we can meet: either for people to drive here from the school or for me to drive to the school. If it is meant to be, God will show us the way.
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