30 April 2011

Give me an arm

         So, a very long time ago, well during one of my first few weeks in Peru I made a slight error in a word. I was asking one of the boys for my hug and in Spanish a hug is abrazo, however, still brushing up on my Spanish I accidentally forgot my a, so instead I said brazo- which is arm. I asked for an arm, and he caught it so he gave me his arm. So, tonight when I got home he asked for his arm and I gave him my arm, and like always a good laugh. 
        People always say, everyone remembers the little things or it is the little things that add to your everyday to make them special.  It is true. I have little things with about everyone I know. Little inside jokes, things that make no sense to anyone on the outside, but to me and that person there is a story behind it. 
      I am updating my blog today specifically for my Mexican, Victoria. She is my Mexican and yes I call her that, one she is in fact Mexican, and the first time I went to her apartment as we were trudging up 3 flights of stairs, I questioned her as to why on earth she lived on the 3rd floor. With no hesitation she replied, "It is because I am Mexican." From there the joke grew, and has lasted now for almost 5 years.  Victoria is one of my best friends, and she is one of the people who most consistently floods my inbox with her random thoughts, some longer than others or some demands. Like this one, ' You need to update your blog... I've been faithfully checking it daily... .' (Personally I thought I had been doing a lot better at updating)
      Thus the update, which lead me to thinking about the little things that make relationships unique. Something about every relationship I have is special. Sometimes, the little things just happen and they stick, other times, especially with kids, you have to find something little to begin to form that trust to begin the relationship, and then it generally stays as well. 
      Besides educating children, as a teacher you have to form a special relationship with each of your students, a bond. With every kid just because you are their teacher does not mean they are immediately going to respect you and listen to your instructions or follow your rules. So, this past month not only have I been doing my best to put together lessons from the little bit of curriculum I have and the limited resources, and then making my own teaching aides by hand, and teaching 17 3-5 year olds, but I have also been looking for little things about the kids. Little things that make them who they are, and also little things I can use to gain their trusts. 
      For a whole week straight one of the moms was 30-45 minutes late picking up her son. We would sit outside waiting. The second to last kid would leave, he would be left. I would ask him where his mother was, he would tell me she is down at our 'ranch'. 'Why?' I would continue. He would reply with she is washing clothes or she is cooking lunch. Then 2 minutes later I would ask him again where was his mother, the same would pursue, I would ask again, and again. For about 10 minutes, then finally when she wasn't there we would go inside and start cleaning the classroom. He stacks the chairs, I sweep and continue to ask him where his mother is. But now he is a really good helper in the class keeping things clean, and willing to put things away. And when he is off track or gets unfocused, all I have to say to get him on track is "Y tu mama?" and he smiles and does what he is supposed to be doing. 
       There are many many other small things that I have been finding with the kids, and the little things I have made into inside jokes, but to tell a bunch of inside jokes would take a really long time, and some of them wouldn't be as funny cause they are inside jokes. 

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