It's hard to believe I'm actually a teacher now - "Tharamu Marie" to be exact. (There's another "Tharamu Hannah" here, so to avoid confusion I'm temporarily known as "Tharamu Marie.")
The two first days of teaching are behind me now... I am learning to push pass feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty and just do my best, one day at a time, trusting that God will do the rest. I'm so glad I always have Him as my classroom assistant.
I'm starting to feel more at ease and comfortable with these students now. My classes are made up of a random assortment of personalities. There's the silly ones, the shy ones, the mischievous ones (usually boys), the confident ones, the not-so-confident ones, the conscientious ones, the very sweet ones, and more. I enjoy interacting with them.
For those of you who like statistics, here's the number of students in each of my classes:
8th grade - 26 students
9th grade - 25 students
10th grade - 11 students
Computers class - 15 students
In total, I have around 62 different new names to learn, plus the others who aren't in my classes... and they're not American names... Let me give you some examples - Saw Morning Htoo, Mah Lah Gee, P'Saw Paw, Htee Nay Htoo, Saw Eh Soe, July Paw and so many more. They're not always pronounced the same as they are spelled. It's exciting that I'm starting to connect more and more faces with names.
During my first 8th grade class, a helpful student pointed out where the chalkboard eraser was, so I wouldn't have to use my hand to erase the chalk. I quickly said "Ta Bluuu" which I thought meant "thank-you" in their language.
The kids started giggling and the boy spoke out, "Say that again, teescha?!"
So I slowly said it again.
Then they really starting laughing and chattering to each other. I smiled and joined them in laughing, but I didn't exactly know what they thought was so funny.
Come to find out later I was really saying "crazy" in their language instead of "thank-you." I guess that was my first funny language blooper (at least that I know of). :) The two words sound very similar except for a slightly more abrupt tone at the end of "thank-you."
I'm sure there will be many more memorable moments that I will collect over my time here. I am thankful for this time that I can be here. I pray that God will touch these students' lives through me.
One more experience: At the beginning of my first class, I had the students fill out a 3x5 card with their name, age, grade and other information about themselves, so I could learn more about them. One of the questions I had them answer on the card was “What is your favorite thing to do/hobby?”
One of the eighth grade boys wrote that his favorite thing to do was “God work.” I really liked to see that. I want the other students to know for themselves that doing work for God is so rewarding. I think it’s my favorite thing to do too. There’s nothing more satisfying than to work for God.
Water droplets after a recent rainstorm
Grade 9 classroom
Grade 10 classroom