Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chapter 3: Teacher- Maestra

I was hoping to take the time to be thoughtful about my life and experiences in Guatemala or Guate. Time and technology works against this intention. Because my internet is touchy like the sensitive little bitch that it is I will try to keep things concise. Who wants to read about peoples lengthy worldly experiences anyway.

How shall I entice you on visiting? My apartment building is called Con Vista – With View. The name serves it justice. You step inside and an immediate tranquilization hits your veins as you breath in the panoramic scene. You forget your worries, your thoughtless chatter at the door and watch the clouds drift by. Night time is my favorite. Especially when it storms from time to time and I have a front seat to a natural laser light show. I warmly welcome you into my humble abode so that you can decide for yourself what is what in Guatemala.

I am not actually on vacation which can easily be misconstrued when I have not yet shared about my occupation. Yes I indeed did come here to work, teach in fact. It has officially been about a month and a half. Surprises- teaching comes naturally to me. For the most part I can solve my classrooms problems or see to what my classroom needs and I can talk to parents. I have this voice and presence that sometimes spooks myself. I sound official like I am a legitimate teacher. Then there is a reality of creating routines, grading, assessing, and jamming as much education as I can from 7:30 in the morning until lunch at 11:40.

I love my school because...

-I co-teach with Tatiana Borrayo my favorite Guatemalan

-I have a huge classroom, bathroom included

-teamwork is for real here

What I miss about American schools...

-access to resources (but you get creative when you don't have what you want)

-not much really

I don't miss working in isolation, the inflexibility of time and creativity, and teaching in a monculture.

I have come to terms with the fact that I am more than an educator. I am a social movements leader. Don't you wonder who Baraka and Bush and McCain's 3rd grade teachers were? I do. When my students enter the classroom they look to me for direction and guidance. Hail Ms. Vida's little revolutionaries.