We have just finished our first full week at St George's. Miss Mika (as she is now known by all the students) has been working hard, still making transformations, little by little, to the Music Dept. On top of teaching, she has been at auditions for an upcoming musical and choir rehearsals in the evening and working with other staff to update furniture and have cleaning done...to be honest, she's killing it.
A number of the teachers and executive staff have commented on the fact that there is a noticeable change in the vibe of the music department already. Not only does the music building look inviting and clean and modern, but the kids are excited to be there and a whole bunch of year 9 students have changed their elective preferences to music! Proud of Miss Mika I am.
I'm teaching Maths and actually really enjoying it! For those who don't know, I taught one class of Maths last year on top of my almost full time Music position at Narara. So, I whacked the fact that I'd taught Maths on my resume when St George's asked me for my CV after Mik got the job. Well, they jumped at the little bit of fine print that said something like: "Yeah, I can kinda teach a little bit of maths?"
So, Mr. Chris, Mr. Koelma or Sir (they call me all three!) has three Maths classes: Year 7 has fifteen little angels that hang of my every word about how cool 'rounding numbers' can be. Year 8 has nine students, 8 girls and one boy...they take a little extra time to complete some things, but they are so fun and I love teaching them. Year 9 has eleven funky boys, who love football and chatting...however, as soon as I put my 'man voice' on, they are quiet and ready to tackle the multiplication of indices questions that I throw at them. It's awesome, fun and so different to teaching at Narara, where I had 30 kids who didn't want to learn anything and they were all chucked in to one maths class.
I'm also teaching I.T., a couple of classes of music and assisting Mik with elective classes. I have also started a band program for the 'boarders' of the school and will pick up a bunch of instrumental tuition soon.
I have always liked school teaching in the past, but have never been overly pumped about it i.e. I love one-on-one tutoring more etc...however, working at this school (so far) is excellent and really quite inspiring.
One really exciting and privileged part of this week was performing for the whole school at the opening assembly. This was it:
Quilmes has recently just got a lot bigger for Mik and I. We bought two 'Olmo' cruiser bikes and we are dominating the streets on them. Heaps of people ride bikes here...and although the drivers can be a bit crazy, we just stick to the back streets and go for it. Fun stuff.
I have also started my Master of Educational Studies (Creative Arts Specialisation) via online learning at Newcastle Uni. I have been thinking about doing this for a while and I sent my application away on the day before we left Aus and got accepted. I'm doing two subjects this semester: Creative Arts Pedagogies and Comparative International Education Systems. Should be cool and will open up some doors for tertiary teaching stuff in the future.
Well, we have our first Argentine national holiday coming up next Tuesday, so we have a four day long weekend (if a public holiday is on a Tuesday the government also gives you the Monday to promote more tourist spending...killer!) We're gonna muck around today, go to see Quilmes play at the stadium on Sunday night and then prob grab a train on Monday up to Tigre, a vibey town on the delta between Uruguay and Arg. We'll stay there the night and cruise back Tues. That's the plan anyway.
Gonna get into the long weekend now and maybe start by buying some fruit from the Bolivian dude across the road...he's a legend.
Keep in the loop and chuck a comment on the bottom if you feel it.
Lot of love from S America.