You probably read about our arrival and first days in San Cristobal in Martin’s Galapagos Volunteering Part One, Part Two and Part Three. Following on, here’s my own tale of teaching in our first week!
After the frenzy of getting all five of us to school by 7.15am, Ben and Martin have headed off to their classes, whilst the headmistress takes me and the girls to our classes. We take Lara into Form 1, she goes in fairly happily – brave girl!
Zoe is next and is shown to 4a and I’m shown next door to 4b. I’m introduced to the expectant kids and it dawns on me that there is no teacher?!
‘Where is the teacher?’ I ask in my best Spanish!!
The Head shakes her head and says a lot in Spanish very fast – I can’t really follow but I pick up lots of Usted’s (a polite ‘you’) – I reply ‘solo yo??’ (Only me??) she replies ‘si!’ (Yes!) with a slightly sheepish grin!
I can’t think of a polite response in English, never mind Spanish, that will get me out of it so I simply give her my best look of horror and ask if she’ll help by explaining to me what to do?! She hands me four course books, and I think says ‘Just start with Unit 5 in all subjects’, points to the timetable on the wall, suggests something about getting the kids to show me around the school once we’ve done introductions? … She beams and wishes me luck and leaves….
Teacher Mo in Class 4b at Alejandro Alvear school, San Cristobal – I may look calmer than I really am!
Twenty five beaming faces are on me, about twenty three voices are shouting ‘teacher teacher teacher?’ More