31 August 2009

A week in and feeling more settled

Hello all!
I'm planning to continue posting weekly updates here until I get so busy that my customary lack of communication skills set in.

To sum it up in a word the first week of classes was intense. I'm not quite sure that I have enough distance from it yet to say whether it was good or bad, but it was intense. Overall, I think it went fairly well although there were the inevitable kinks to be worked out with room assignments, figuring out which students were in which sections, unexpected class cancellations, and available technology resources. In spite of those minor incidents, I'm finding my students friendly and willing to engage the curriculum and the learning process. Above all, they have been patient with me as I figure out exactly how to meet their learning needs. The classes are beginning to develop a rhythm as we get used to each other and I'm cofident that the nerves will soon give way to a positive learning environment.

As the newness of that aspect of my life wears off, the guest house dynamics are shaping up as well. I arrived back before the other international volunteers so the first weeks have been pretty quiet but other the past few days the others have started to arrive. So far there is a Vietnamese American named Mark, the Phillips' (an Aussie couple working with the Agriculture department), and a 74 year old volunteer from the states named Joan. We're still waitin for the others to arrive, but I think it's going to be a good experience.

On Saturday (don't ask me why faculty meetings are held on Saturday's) there's a meeting between the IC3 teachers to discuss ways in which it can be integrated between reading, writing and listening/speaking classes as well as the different levels. Since this is what excites me most about this project, I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to begin working together at moving the project forward into new territory. In addtion, I'll start teaching the writing section of the new group of students at the Resource Cente for Rural Development. Although not specifically an IC3 assignment, I have enough freedom to work at integrating some of the learnings and skills into the existing curriculum.

I think that's enough rambling for now... Good night!

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