I was very honest with him that “I don’t enjoy teaching. I don’t have an education degree. I do not know what to do with the kids because there are no lesson plans in my head". He said, "You just have to talk to them". How do I explain that I don’t know what to say? That I look at a room full of ‘older’ kids and freeze up. Put me in a room of 2-4 year olds and I am content, but give me a room of teenagers and I am like a deer in the headlights. Maybe it’s because I have taken language classes and know how much I disliked being called upon to speak? Realizing that I was getting nowhere in my struggle to get out of it; I gave up and went to my room straight after dinner and laid in bed listening to comforting sound of little bat wings as they swooped again and again close to my window eating their fill of insects.
Per the instructions “you must leave with the children at 9:30!”, I got ready the next morning and assumed that we would leave at 9:30. Around 9:50 we (all the children, Chandra and I) walked off the property. I again wrongly assumed that “you will take the bus” meant the bus would pick us up at CPH. After walking for 15 minutes, picking up children along the way like the Pied Piper, we then sat down in a shaded area to wait for the bus, which arrived sometime after 10:15. Everyone crammed in (literally) and we were off to school.
I followed everyone into the school and Chandra motioned for me to follow her. (bhola had said that I would ‘mingle and talk” to the teachers in the morning, but I jumped at the chance to walk the opposite direction of the teacher’s lounge). We went up to the top floor of the school and there was a nice ‘living room’ with an adjoining bedroom and bath. This floor used to be used as the living area when students lived at the school (before Children’s Peace Home was created). I helped her clean the rooms all up since they had been vacant for a couple of months and then feeling safe there, I picked a book off of a shelf and started reading. Eventually, I figured I should venture down to the teachers area…
As soon as I walked in the Vice Principle said, “oh good, you are here, a teacher didn’t show up today, so you can take the class”. I looked kind of dumbfounded and said “uh, what do I teach?” and he said, “You can just talk to them in English”. Sigh…I said “for how long?” and the reply was about 30 minutes. (I thought, yeah, right…) I walked into Class 10 and introduced myself and then said that they would all get to ask me one question in English. Since no one jumped at the chance, I then pointed to the girl in the back row and upon catching her horrified look, said “you first”. After the girls around her giglged and confided with her, she spurted out “Where are you from”. After drawing a horrific diagram of North, Central and South America I explained where the
All of the children stood up and said “Goodbye Miss” and I stood there and said Goodbye. They continued to stand at their desks and I said “You can go now, class is over”. They didn’t budge and finally one of them said, "we stay, you go" and I then remembered a conversation I had awhile ago about the school system…In Nepal, the students stay in one classroom and the teachers move to them; contrary to the US where the students move and the teachers stay in the room. I laughed and said, “OH!” And went on my way only to have the VP tell me that Class 9 is waiting for me. Dammit!
I entered Class 9 and immediately felt at ease. There were 4 kids from CPH in that class!! I did the ole’ ask me questions and these younger kids (probably 12 – 14) were not so reserved. “How old are you” was the first question and after having them fail miserably at guessing, I told them and watched the strange looks on their faces. I said, “Yes, I am older than most of your mothers but I promise you I don’t act like them.” After letting them “stroke my ego” about “how you don’t look 42”, I continued the questions. After each had a turn, I then honestly said, “Now what do we do”, and someone replied “tell us more about your country”. Figuring that I can’t go wrong with that, I proceeded to tell them about the
Anyway, that class went much smoother and soon the bell once again rang in no time at all. When I retreated to the Teacher’s lounge once more, I then asked how long each class is and found out that they are only 40 minutes; three 40-minute classes a day? Hmmm…maybe I can actually handle that.