Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Soccer balls and weird hats...

Somedays I feel like this is such a weird place to work.

Friday night, while many were out with friends, and family, at dinner and a movie, or date night with a new attraction, I was at a party with fifty teenagers and their families. The parents drank, we laughed, and spent time together. Student Council was hosting a welcoming party for the Peruvian students. Our president, a wonderful young lady, volunteered her home and her time in order to facilitate this event. Parents brought food and drinks, I brought our portable PA system, and by plugging in an iPod we made a party our of nothing. The students danced and laughed and stayed until the very end. They are truly one of the easiest crowds to entertain, the kind of students who give a refrigerator box to and they make it into a fort, or a space ship, or a boat. They have yet to loose that curiosity and intuition.

Saturday I was on campus at 10am to build a garden with a bunch of Middle Schoolers, because that is what we do here. We build completely organic gardens that will eventually all together break down and be a part of the Earth, the only pieces of the entire raised bed garden that is not compostable is the chicken wire we used to keep it all contained, and the posts that we used to hold up the chicken wire. What amazed me most were the Upper School students who came to help out, even though it was not their project in the first place. They truly look out for each other in multiple grades.

But that is not what is weird about this place. Monday after school, after what was truly a busy weekend,  at about fifteen minutes to the end of the day, we decide as a school to have an American vs. Peruvian soccer match. Why? I'm not sure, but the school, both middle and upper school, head out the to field, and held a match. We passed our jersey's, they warmed up and then, let the game begin. Our division director (my boss) referred the game, in a truly dedicated manner. As I watched him run up and down the side of the field in his dress shoes, khakis and School embroidered polo I was moved by how truly special this place is.

Oh wait, did I mention what was on his head. Hold on, back up. He and the year book teacher had taken the Yearbook students to In-and-Out burger for lunch as a reward for reaching a goal they had set. So as he is running up and down the field he has one hand is on his whistle, and the other hand is on his head in order to keep his In-and-Out burger hat from falling off of his head. Ok, now that you have a much better visual I can continue on.

That is what makes this school what it is and who we are and I for one am thrilled to be a part of it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Another Sunday

... and here I am at work. Tomorrow begins our accreditation and it couldn't be sooner. The last few weeks have flown by but in a more positive way than a negative one. Since my last post on stress and fear and frustration I have been able to wrap my head more around the way that things are going to be at this school, and thank god for that considering it is already the second of October, YIKES!

The student council event was wonderful! I'm really proud of the students I am working with. September was far too early to plan an event, but it came together which is good since we were unsure up until the event started of how it was going to go. Friday at lunch on the day of the event, the President walked into the room in tears because she thought it was going to be a flop.But a few strands of Christmas lights later, couches pulled in from the surrounding classrooms (did I mention that we all have a couch in our classroom?) and our Movie Night was a hit. Students showed up which is always good and we actually made a profit on the night. Our next stresses for student council is a social event hosted by us for the Peruvian Foreign Exchange students that will be with us for a fifteen days and the Haunted House. More work intensive but with more time to plan, I have faith.

My classes are going along. Every week I have a meeting with my administrator where he asks me superficial questions that I feel like I don't have the right answer to. I feel like he wants some extraordinary blow your mind enlighten your sole kind of answer to "How are classes going?". He sits and waits while I mumble about them going well, that we are moving along. Compared to things at my last school I do not know what I am supposed to say. I have actually started keeping a word document of things that happen in class so that perhaps at some point I will say something that makes it seem like I finally got the right answer.

Planning a trip to go to Greece and Italy though... now that is stressful ESPECIALLY considering the state of affairs on that side of the world. I can't even begin to explain the amount of hours that I have put in already, I don't even think I really want an exact count. At this point, finding an alternative location for the Greece part of the Greece and Italy trip is my newest priority, something else that I feel like I have to have made huge strides on for those meetings with my Director. Oh well, all and all things are doing as well as they can. I try to find time each day to relax, I try not to consume too many glasses of the addictively sweet wine in my fridge, and I try VERY hard to always put my students first, which is the one thing on that list that I truly thing I succeed at :)

Cheers to my friends, family and fellow teachers. I'm off to a pile of work!