The school will be where I spend most of my time this year. The other volunteers have more clear-cut jobs, but I'm going to be more of a jack-of-all trades this year. The best way to tell you is probably to list my responsibilities:
- Librarian/ Library Teacher - My compulsive book hoarding finally has a productive outlet! I'm going to be in charge of the Amigos school library this year! The volunteer who came before me got it amazingly organized. A lot of my work will be organizing all the new books that are always coming in and managing check-outs and book returns. I'll also be teaching library classes an as-yet undetermined number of times per week, but I'll most likely have 4th, 5th and 6th grade possibly twice a week.
- 6th Grade English (as a second language) teacher - I'll only have this job through the end of the Honduran school year, which is in November. I'll have a class of eight 6th grade boys possibly up to 4 days a week for 45 minutes. I already love all the students in the class. They are really eager to learn and are all just really good kids. I was introduced to the class yesterday and several of them approached me later in the day to say how excited they were. I know 6th grade boys can be a devious bunch, but for now I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt!
- One-on-one special ed teacher - We have a really special little girl here who just doesn't fit into any of the other classes at the school. She's 12 years old and has special needs, so for two hours a day I'll be working with her one-on-one on basic school objectives and life skills. Over the past few weeks I already fell in love with her. I know this is going to be a big challenge, but I'm really excited to work with her, and I think it'll be very rewarding.
- Pre-school teacher's aide - Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for an hour an additional 3 young children will be added to the pre-school class taught by another of the volunteers. This is to begin to acclimate these young children to the classroom while they're still too young to be in the class full-time. During that time, I'll be working with the teacher. I'll probably bring my special needs student with me to these classes as well so that she can have a classroom experience. It's all a big experiment, but we'll see how it works.
Those are the biggest things but there are a couple other responsibilities I have as well. When new children come to the hogar I'll have them in a classroom until it's been determined which class is the best fit for them. I also may end up teaching specials, specifically Music (!) which would be amazing.
Other side-jobs will be decided in a month or two when we've all settled into a schedule with our main jobs. These will include things like social media and communications work, service trip planning, special projects, etc. The whole community also has a few things we are responsible for together, such as taking the kids to the nearby village on their birthdays, cooking a meal for the whole hogar once a month, planning a spirituality night for the whole hogar once a month, maintaining a bulletin board in the comedor (thanks RA!), and helping plan and run weekend activities. We each will also have a case-load of kids we are responsible for checking in with periodically, to make sure that none of the children here fall through the cracks. As a community of volunteers, we also have meals together twice a week and have weekly community and spirituality nights.
Needless to say, it's going to be a busy year! I'm most nervous about all the teaching; I don't have any experience! But everything needs to start at some point and there are lots of resources here I can tap into. I'm also really excited about my jobs. They are all things I was interested in, and, to be honest, this crazy mess of responsibilities was my first choice!
Thanks for all of the prayers. We have the next few days to plan and we all begin teaching and doing our different jobs this coming Thursday, so continued prayers are appreciated.
P.S. pictures of Copán and the ruins coming soon!