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I’m going to be a teacher too!

January 18, 2011

Just to clarify, I want to protect the privacy of the family I’m living with, so I’m just going to call them by their first initials.  The Mom is M, the daughter (age 7) is D, the son (age 11) is F, and the dad is C.

Yesterday, M told me that during morning prayers at D’s school, she prays for me and asks God that I can stay with her family for longer.  When her English teacher heard that I am living with her, she thought to herself, “Un’opportunita` come questa, secondo te, la perdo?” (Do you think I would let an opportunity like this pass me by?) and she asked M if I might want to come in to D’s English class and prepare some lessons for her.

So this morning, I rode my bike (actually M’s bike, which she is generously letting me use whenever I wish!) into town and met with D’s English teacher.  We spoke completely in Italian, and I realized that my Italian comprehension has really come back.  It’s gotten to the point where I can’t tell the difference between Italian and English, and at one point after listening to D’s Italian teacher for about 15 minutes, I realized “She’s speaking Italian!”  Sometimes at home, when I’m with F and D, I get confused between the languages, and I can’t remember which language I’m even speaking, because they both feel the same.

Anyway, D’s English teacher explained to me that with only 2 English lessons a week, the kids haven’t learned that much English, and she suggested that I prepare lessons based on learning the months of the year or simple expressions like “My name is,” etc.  This is going to be even more fun than when I taught Italian to a group of American 5th-graders in Vermont!

Before I came back home, she took me into the classroom to meet the kids.  They were really excited to meet me and they had lots of questions for me.  I am really excited and I’m going to try to come up with some fun games for them.

It’s really cold here, and foggy most of the time.  I haven’t seen the sun in four days!  M told me that when she was a girl, there would be nights that she’d try to go out, but then just turn around because it was too foggy.  It really is like a wall of fog.

Yesterday, the family’s dog Lola had puppies, or rather, one puppy.  One was stillborn, and apparently two were reabsorbed into the dog’s bloodstream?  I had no idea that was possible.  The puppy is sooooooo cute.  It is about the size of my hand and the softest thing I’ve ever touched.  New mom Lola is very protective and content.  The kids are superexcited and decided to call her Chloe`.

Last night, they invited me to stay for dinner because it was pizza night.  I had no idea that Italians did take-out, but they do.  I am noticing that this family is much more Americanized and modernized than my host family from Florence.  They have apple computers, a dishwasher, and heated floors.  I was shocked to discover, though, that each person eating got their own pizza, and not a personal size, either.  The crust is much thinner than American pizza, but I still couldn’t finish the whole thing as the others did.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    January 19, 2011 5:56 pm

    So fun vocab game that I did with 9th graders and would probably work with any age: In groups, decide on a definition for a word and write it on a piece of paper. Put this paper inside of a balloon and then inflate it. With a sharpie, write the word on the outside of the balloon. Once group 1 has a bunch of balloons, swap with group 2. Group 2 looks at the first balloon from group 1, and collectively decides on a definition for the word on the balloon. Once they are in agreement, they get to pop the balloon and see the definition written on the piece of paper inside to see if they were right. The kids loved popping the balloons, but be careful with latex allergies. I’m not sure how it would work for younger kids or a bigger class. But, I thought I’d pass it along since you are going to be be a teacher too! Also, I didn’t come up with the idea, I “community of learnered” (what my classmates call sharing/stealing each others materials) from one of my classmates. I’ll send you along other ideas as I think of them. Let me know how old the class is too-and I’ll ask around to see what the foreign language pre-service teachers have as fun ideas/games…
    I hope you are doing well and enjoying life!! Keep the posts coming!

    • January 26, 2011 6:03 pm

      Thanks for that idea Theresa! Ah I miss you so much! I have put up a picture of you and me and Gaelle from our senior cruise in high school… remember that? Anyway I will hunt around town for some balloons and hope that no one has latex allergies, since I don’t even know how to say that in Italian. I’m teaching 2nd-graders (7-8 years old!) I’m sure they would like the balloons. They’re so cute! Good luck with your next semester 🙂

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