Is it too late? Is anybody still reading this? I wouldn't be surprised if not; I've been awfully slack in the postings lately. Mostly that's because my life is pretty calm which doesn't really make good blog writing fodder. The thing is though, I'm totally happy and this year, especially after last year, feels like a much-needed (and much-deserved, if I do say so myself) rest.
I started to write this blog entry a few weeks ago when we didn’t have classes. Due to severe winds that came through our part of the city two Wednesday nights ago, the electricity at school was out and they needed to clean up trees and repair damages. Though the people here said the winds were similar to hurricane winds, there was no hurricane or even rain. It seems a meeting of cold and hot fronts caused the winds, and with it extensive, but not terribly severe, damage. Here’s a picture of the road leading to the pre-school at my school.
This week is turning out to be a light work week also. Last night our principals told us that we’d have the next 4 days without students due to an H1N1 case in the elementary school, though we still have to be at school each day from 8-12. Another class has several students already out from other types of flu, there are some other cases of H1N1 in the city, one other bilingual school has closed and the others are supposed to close later this week: they’re trying to prevent the spread of the flu before it gets worse. While I know H1N1 is a concern everywhere, I also think prevention is more important here where good health care isn’t as easy to come by.
I definitely enjoy the time off of work. We’ve had an extremely busy few months at school, so we all needed and appreciated the breaks. Despite it all, I can’t complain. Because it’s my first year at this school, it’s a lot of work planning, but I love it. The students and staff are great, and I have all the resources that I could ask for.
It does feel strange to me though. These students are basically the children of the richest families in the country. It’s not uncommon for a driver to bring forgotten homework to school or for families to take weekend trips to Miami. In so many ways, their lives are almost the exact opposites of the students I’m used to and love teaching, the students where I volunteered last year and at San Miguel in Minneapolis. I miss them, especially the San Miguel students. I miss the feeling of knowing that the people I was teaching were the people who needed good teaching the most. I miss the feeling of knowing that I was truly working to create justice. I’m not so sure of that anymore.
However, the good thing about teaching is that it is always good, no matter who the students are, because children are children and they need good teachers. I’m trying to figure out the core of teaching the rich instead of the poor, and what that means. Literally, they are the future leaders of this country. Their families are the ones that rule here. If I can teach them something about justice and fairness, then maybe I can have an impact in a different way. It is a switch from who I’ve always thought myself to be, and I don’t really have an answer when people ask me why I’m here, but I do know that it is the right place for me to be right now, and I trust in that.
It helps, just a little, that today is a beautifully sunny day when my friends at home are dealing with snow and I’m headed to the pool with some friends. I don’t take many photos, but here’s one of me and Carlos from a few weeks ago when we went to the beach for the day with his friends.