Hello Family and Friends,
I’ve been in Italy a little over a week now and let me say I have experienced a sea of emotions: from Rome’s incredible, mind-blowing historical sights to Santa Maria Apparente Elementary School’s energetic children who don’t understand me when I tell them to sit down, be quiet, and work on activity 8. Yes, it’s been an amazing yet sometimes difficult ride so far, like I’m riding a roller coaster blindfolded. Sometimes, I toss my hands up and enjoy the thrill while other times I think I might throw up at the unexpected turns, but it’s all part of the experience that I am so thankful to have.
The sights in Italy have been like scenes from an extraordinarily illustrated storybook. I can’t even believe my eyes sometimes. If you’ve seen my pictures on Facebook then you have an idea of the sights I’ve experienced firsthand. The rolling hills topped with villages and hillsides adorned with vineyards are my favorite. It is all very real, not just beautifully painted ideas. I have not time to go into everything I’ve seen, I’ll save my stories for a relaxing night over a big meal and good wine, when we have all night to eat and talk, like the Italians.
Teaching English has been a difficult yet rewarding experience. I’m in the elementary school so these kids don’t understand too much. They know how to pick out words when I (slowly) explain something to them, for example: “Open your books to page 10.” I mimic what I want them to do and then they hear “book”, “page”, and “10” and they can infer what they are supposed to do. Some classes have English speaking teachers to help explain the lessons while other classes I’m left to do it all myself. In those classes with no English speaking teacher, I repeat the instructions a lot, write an example on the board, and try to mimic (while using the English terms) what they need to do for the activity. Sometimes I hear, “Ahhhhh, Si.” and sometimes I hear, “Teacher, non capisco.” Most of the time at least a few students understand and I have them explain to their other classmates in Italian. I love seeing the kids smile so big when they are able to speak in English or when they complete their English activity and know they have learned something new. I also love seeing them smile when they teach me how to say something in Italian; everybody learns something in the classroom.
I want to thank everybody who helped me get here today. I have always loved to learn, and through this experience I am not short of learning. I love and miss you all, especially my husband, thanks for your love and support.
Until next time,
Our lesson today! Write a postcard using our vocabulary and draw a picture of your holiday.