Back to School

classroomYesterday I had the privilege of going back to school.  The first part of my morning landed me in 8th grade where I studied volcanoes and then “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.”  Soon after that I was transferred to 1st grade where we studied greater than and less than.  Math has never been my strong point, so I was only mildly embarrassed when I read the math sentence backwards.  I discovered 1st graders are genuinely kind and didn’t mock me.  From 1st grade I quickly progressed to 5th grade where we spent an hour talking about the Industrial Revolution and Andrew Jackson.  I thought it quite interesting, a bit amusing and a tad sad when the Korean kids exclaimed Jackson’s greatness at some points, his villainy at others and called him “our president.”  I spent only an hour in Grade 5 before winding up in the Headmaster’s office.   Thankfully that was planned before I wound up at school yesterday.

So, what did I learn?  Well a few things . . .

1. Being a Non-American while following an American curriculum with an American teacher can lead to interesting points of identification.  I know from experience it’s difficult to always make the necessary distinctions when teaching multi-national high school students.  I’m sure it’s even harder at an elementary level.

2. I was not cut out to teach little kids.  Those first graders were adorable.  I’m sure if you look up “adorable” in the dictionary their picture will be there.  I was so impressed with the patience of their teacher and her wakefulness.  Moving at that pace on a daily basis while trying to communicate important concepts would have me fighting sleep regularly.

3. Workbooks can’t be relied on.  I’m a fairly intelligent person; I couldn’t discern all the right answers on the volcano worksheet because the information was ambiguous.  (Really—I was good at Earth Science back in the day.)

4. Kids need to be taught a little Boolean Logic.  It would make their on-line searches much more efficient.

5. There are a lot of amazing teachers who have given up good positions in their home countries to raise their own salaries, move overseas, and provide a good American education for expatriate families.

Photo courtesy of  Carlos Gustavo Curado

7 responses to “Back to School”

  1. I could use some Boolean Logic training myself. Oh, I’ve pretty much figured it out but I always wondered how I could google even more efficiently… 🙂

  2. Wow-8th,1st,5th all in one day. No wonder you wound up in the headmasters office before the day was over. Did they ever decide on an appropiate class???

    Amazing the non-English kids can handle American studies.

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

  3. Basically Boolean Logic is what allows you to google with using the + sign or – sign without typing out whole sentences. On top of that, it’s fun to say!

    Soul, I’m in Spain till Monday. I’m doing pretty well—tired, but good.

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