First Day of School (1/10/11)–Salem

Today was the first day of Professional Development and prep for school, which starts on the 17th. We walked to the corner where Hania picked us up. She introduced us to the principal and some of the other teachers and then we started setting up her classroom. They start their school year in January, so we will start with new students on Monday.

The school is set up different from the American schools I have been to. You go through a gate with security to the parking lot and then there is a path to the school buildings. As you walk in the office is the first building. The next building is the high school and the cafeteria is on the right. Then there is the 1-3 grade building and finally the pre-primary (my building) on the left and the 4-6 grade building on the right. When you walk into the building there are different colored doors (red, yellow, or blue) and most of the rooms have windows into the hallway. My room is at the end of the hallway and doesn’t have a hall window, but it does have a big window looking outside. The walls are cinder-blocks and Hania said things don’t stick to the wall very well, so we hot glued the posters onto the wall. We also had to self-laminate everything so she can reuse them. It’s weird the things I took for granted at the schools I worked with (laminators, computers in each classroom, TVs in each classroom, projectors, internet, etc.) We have a chalkboard, a white board, and posters. It should be interesting to see a less technological school’s way of teaching. They do have a computer lab, but those are the only computers I could see in the school. That’s it for the first day. We aren’t going to school tomorrow. Loren and I are going to look at apartments in Antigua!

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Basketball court next to the cafeteria

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Office building from the basketball court

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Pre-primary building (my building)

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Playground

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My building again

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Inside the pre-primary building

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Hania and me in the classroom

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Loren came with me and played games on the computer

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Values wall with the stuff we laminated

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View from the classroom window

And here’s some interesting things I have discovered about Guatemala in the last 3 days:

1. Hot water is a luxury. We don’t have it in our house. We will find it in an apartment.
2. The electrical outlets are the same in Guatemala as they are in the United States.
3. If you have a nice car, it has tinted windows (windshield included).
4. There are a lot of Americans/English speakers in Antigua. There are not a lot in Ciudad Vieja.
5. There is a huge class difference here. The school is banning jewelry for girls, nail polish, and long hair on boys because they might show a family’s income and create cliques.

So that’s it for now. Apartment search begins tomorrow… we’re getting wifi!

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