Monday, March 8, 2010


Today I peeked outside while the kids were copying and excitedly turned back to my class and asked “what’s it called in Portuguese, the thing like this with all the colors?” They looked at each other and giggled, who is this crazy white lady? “Arco-íris” they said. “You guys want to come look at it?” I asked. They giggled and hesitated for a second thinking surely she can’t be serious. And then there was a mad rush for the door.
I find helping the girls with their English help very interesting for a number of reasons. Sometimes the things they have written (that their teacher said or wrote on the board) are in an English that only exists in English grammar books and that nobody actually speaks. Sometimes it’s wrong and that troubles me. And then trying to explain to them that the English they are learning (British English, perhaps) is very very different from the English I speak, and sometimes I don’t actually know if something is wrong or just sounds funny to me.
A student from another class came to my door today while I was teaching and said “our math teacher isn’t here, we are asking for some math exercises to do.” I was incredibly impressed by their initiative, and annoyed that my colleague hadn’t left them with anything.

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