Saturday, March 7, 2015

What a Difference a Year Makes

We have completed our first month of school already and can’t believe how much easier life is for us this year.  Someone told us any major transition in life takes at least a year and they were so right.  Last year we kind of felt like we were on a spiraling water slide going a bit too fast and just hanging on for the ride, while this year we feel much more at home.  One big reason for that is our current home — we’re living on the school campus and just loving it.  We’re away from the hustle and bustle of the city and have so much more freedom now with coming and going to school.  It has made our family and work life much more manageable. 

Our second year teaching at NCA Matagalpa also feels much more manageable.  Everything is just easier the second time around, especially teaching in new roles in a foreign country.  Mike is teaching PE this year to Kindergarten through 9th grades, with a new block schedule for secondary grades.  Mike now has a teacher’s aide for his combined classes of 50+ students, who is training to possibly take over as the PE teacher next year. 

I have a new class of Kindergartners transitioning very nicely to school.  My teacher in training, Karla, is doing a wonderful job this year stepping into her role as student teacher.  It is amazing to see the growth she has made in her learning and understandings since the beginning of last school year.  Karla is gradually taking on more responsibility in the classroom with the goal to be full-time student teaching by mid-year.  We are being very intentional with planning, organizing, and creating materials so that Karla will have an easy transition next year when she will be the full time Kindergarten teacher.   This relationship is the main reason why we knew we needed to be here one more year, so it is very rewarding to see how excited and open she is to learning and growing as a teacher.

Our kids are all doing very well in their new classes as well.  Mackenzie is enjoying having a class of 25 rather than 8!  Evan has a great teacher who is really working hard to break away from the traditional Nicaraguan teaching methods and challenging his students to use critical thinking.  Kai’s main goal is getting more recess time, which translates to eating as little of his snack and lunch as possible.  We’re working on this, because of course that leads to a tired and cranky little guy at the end of the day.  :)   

We’re all enjoying having outside space, aka the school campus, at our new home!  And so far we’re getting by without a car.  We take the bus into town for church and errands, and friends have been very generous with giving us rides and lending their car for grocery runs (thank you Carey & Maricel!). 

We’re looking forward to what this year will bring and confident we made the right decision in returning!  Thanks to all of you who have helped to make this teaching mission possible, we have almost reached our fundraising goal!  If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation please click on the donation banner at the top of the page. 

Peace Out : ) 
Annette & Fam

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