Every Wednesday, I get up at 5a.m., get ready and I’m at the bus terminal by 6:15 am to take a bus that goes by the road to the school about 30 minutes outside of Ibarra. I have to pay attention to make sure I don’t miss my stop, because the school is in a rural area. After I get off the bus, I have to walk up a road, it’s probably about a mile to walk to the school from the bus stop, but I like the walk, I love the view of the green fields and the mountains in the early morning–it is really pretty.
I teach at “Escuela Benjamín Carrion,” this school has 13 kids and two teachers, it’s a really small school but I love it there and the kids. Everytime I walk into the classroom, they all yell out “Miss Beth!” and jump out of their seats to shake my hand and greet me with, “Buenos Dias.” While I am putting my stuff up, they are already running to the next class to get the other students because they know it’s time for Physical Ed. (which is what I do).
We always start off the morning with Physical Ed. which a lot of times is running around games, I taught them Duck-Duck-Goose, which I turned into Gato-Gato-Perro (cat-cat-dog), which they love, and I also taught them Red Light, Green Light, but in Spanish. I started working at the school right before Christmas, so I was doing Physical Ed. and teaching them a Christmas song in Spanish and then in English, and currently I have been doing Physical Ed. and helping a second grader with her math and making sure that she does her work.
My typical day at the school starts with Physical Education, and is followed by a break, when the kids eat colada (a type of hot drink) mixed with spoonfuls of granola that I give them. Then, I watch over them and we usually end up that break play some games again. After that, we do math and after a while we have another break, when kids can buy yogurt, candies and chifles ( homemade banana chips). During my first weeks there, the kids would always buy little snacks to share with me, which I thought was super cute, then I just bought them so they wouldn’t spend their money on me. After that second break, we go back in the class and do more math to then at a bit past 12pm, all the kids walk me to the bus stop and wave their small hands at me saying good bye.
This week I will actually start teaching English. I’m very excited, the kids are excited and the teachers are excited to learn English themselves. I love teaching here, and this is a great learning experience for me because every week is a chance to learn something new. Especially when you are an 18-year old learning to teach in Ecuador.