Life picked up fast after the 27th and on the 28th I found myself in the position of substituting English class for a teacher because it was raining too much for her to come to work. And the entire thing was sprung on me when I was sitting in the office casually reading a Spanish book when the principal tells me ‘by the way can you cover all of the English classes this afternoon? The first one started 3 minutes ago. Thanks’ and that was the end of that conversation. I scooped up my books in my hand and frantically ran across the open patio to the classroom where a bunch of curious 3rd graders looked at me. Luckily I had been in their class the day before and they at least knew my name. So I looked at them and thought to myself how am I suppose to teach in Spanish? But I did, I stumbled through it. We reviewed colours and sounds and the kids jumped around the room and fought for whose turn it was to hold the big paper with the sound on it. After that I got tossed into another room full of grade 5 students and it was the same confusing last second put together lesson.
Following that I had a free period and in this time I frantically put together a lesson for grade 7 about the verb Hacer and the two different English verbs that come from that and we talked about the differences. It actually went really well. Mind you almost no one was in the class because it was raining- and Dominicans are convinced you will get the flu if you go into the rain. After this the rain continuously poured into the street all night, washing away all of the garbage that covers the sidewalks down to the ocean.
The day after I found myself in a similar role when I was needed to fill in for another sick teacher.. but this time I would be teaching science. If you know me at all, you know 1. How much I suck at science. 2. How little I know about science. Now teaching at a 5th grade level in science is not something that should be challenging but if the language was switched, you will find yourself in this predicament of being the most clueless person in the world. All I had to do was right in Spanish about water, liquids and gasses and put the page numbers of the text book on the board and sit there and watch the class… so I thought… instead all of the kids had questions and thought to ask the random white person sitting in the teachers chair for help. So once again I was sitting there revaluating my life choices that brought me to this point when I found myself reading a textbook about Science in Spanish to help children answer questions.
After these two days I felt that I could pretty much teach anything in Spanish or English because somehow, by the grace of God I didn’t die when I was thrown into these situations.
The rain brought more than just a down pour of water from the heavens it developed confidence that I could communicate what I want to say in a different language, even with a subject I knew nothing about.