One Week Down

Above: The elementary field at Alliance Academy

“One week down, thirty-nine more to go!”

That’s been a familiar phrase among colleagues this weekend as we have all successfully completed our first week of the new school year. It was a long and tiring week, but it was great to finally put our months of preparation to good use.

When Monday morning arrived, I really didn’t feel nervous. It was the first day of school and my class agendas mostly consisted of reading through the course syllabus and answering questions. That was pretty easy. But on Wednesday, I had to teach several 45 minute lessons with no syllabus to hide behind. Plus, none of my classes have curriculum, so I’m having to create it from scratch. I spent several nights this week fine-tuning presentations and activities in the hopes that they would hold the attention of my students. Of course, it’s about more than just keeping their attention; hopefully they’re learning something as well! I guess that remains to be seen.

So, Wednesday was my first real taste of teaching and I’m happy to report that the day (and the rest of the week) went better than expected. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but my seemed to be responding to my PowerPoints, demonstrations, and classroom activities. Well, except for Friday afternoon. I had several yawning kids in my video production class. I felt discouraged at first, but the same lesson went over quite well with Thursday’s video class. I’m chalking it up to Friday afternoon lethargy and the fact that I decided to turn the lights off while showing a couple video clips in class. I suppose that’s something they teach in college education classes – keep the activity level a bit higher on Friday afternoons. Lesson learned.

One of our favorite lunch spots within the Alliance walls.

After one week of teaching, I feel older and wiser, but I’m certainly no expert. If anything, I’ve realized how “green” I really am and how much I have left to learn. Teaching is hard work and I have a newfound respect for all of my teacher friends who were always too tired to hang out on a Friday night! It’s hard, but it’s also rewarding and I’m still in awe of this place that God has called us to and how, when He asks us to step out of our comfort zones, He always provides the strength and knowledge to do what He has asked.

Angela also had a great first week. She spent a lot of time meeting with her staff and planning out the year and was able to meet with a couple kids near the end of the week. Her counseling sessions will begin in earnest next week and I’m sure she’ll have plenty to share as the year goes on! Each day, we’ve been able to eat lunch together and talk about how our days are going. It’s truly one of the best parts of working together!

We’ll certainly be sharing more as the school year continues. We recently learned about a few ministry opportunities at the school that we’ll be involved in this year. More on that next time. Right now, we’ve got some school work and lesson planning to do!

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doug September 9, 2012 Ecuador