Sunday, September 25, 2011

School Days

I have just a few pictures from is SO difficult to take pictures during the day when there are children to teach!! This is my first group of 1st graders that I have first thing in the morning. They are still kind of asleep so it makes for a relatively "tranquila" class. :)

Flash cards to prepare us to read our first book in English! 

My teaching schedule is different everyday, but normally, I have two classes of 1st grade in the morning, then 2nd grade, a class of third grade, break for recess/snack/planning, and the 1-2 hours of 10th-12th grade Level 4 English. It's a full day! School starts at 7:15 and is over at 1:15. Everyone breaks for "siesta" from 1:30-3pm, but Alyssa and I usually just work straight through (with some good snacks) or I sometimes go for a run if it's not raining! 

In October, we will begin tutoring students who need help in English 5-6 hours a week! I'm going to have to work on my time management to get all these lesson plans written! 

By the way- I am loving teaching the high school class, which was totally unexpected! They are lots of fun to work with! We are reading The Chronicles of Narnia book along with their book work and also discussing a daily devotional story from The Daily Encourager emails I receive from Bro. David Langerfeld! This provides for some good discussions in class! 

Pray that all these students would see Christ in our teaching and that they will want to know more about life with Him. I am hoping to spend more individual time with the students to get to know them on a more personal level and be able to talk about things like this. (This is hard with a class full of students!!) 

Thank you for your prayers for the students, families, teachers, and administrators at UECE!

This was our dining room table (which carried onto the living room floor) a few weeks ago preparing for the first day of school! Lots of bulletin boards were made and flash cards laminated! Thus is the life of a teacher! :)

Much love to you from Macas!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ooohhh....God is so good!
I realize I haven't blogged in quite some time, the main reason being that school is in full swing and I haven't had many moments to spare! What a quick month it has been!

I am loving teaching school--this is not exactly the way I've always imagined my "first year of teaching" to look like, but it is oh so much more rewarding! I am teaching two classes of 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and Level 4 High School English. What an adventure! Between learning how to grade papers, keep up with absences, participation points, behavior charts, and writing LOTS of lesson plans, I don't feel like I've stopped to sit down and reflect!

Some days are tough...(I am still learning how to manage the behaviors of little ones who only speak Spanish!) and other days are so exciting because I can see lightbulbs turn on in the students eyes, or I walk down the hall being greeted with lots of hugs and kisses for the "Profe!" These moments are some of the greatest joys of teaching.

After a long few days this week, I was feeling rather defeated as I walked home (UPhill) with my grocery bags...but decided that a good run would be encouraging. I laced up my tennis shoes and set out with my ipod--fully aware of all the strange looks I receive in doing such physical activity. :)

I ran hard. Talking to The Lord...pouring out my frustrations, thoughts, and feelings...and ran hard. The end of the road seemed to be a long way off, but this was my goal- an all-out sprint. Call me cheesy--or maybe just emotional, but I felt like The Lord was saying "Run hard towards Me. don't stop, love. run this way and I'll meet you." So I ran. and it hurt. And the metaphor of this run and my life right now took on so many similarities. At the end of the road, I bent over to catch my breath...then looked up to my right. Oh my, God is so good. He had painted the most beautiful backdrop of a pink-orange sky surrounding those dark, majestic mountains! It was breath-taking.

As far as I could see, majesty. Big mountains, big sky, big clouds. BIG majesty. And The Lord seemed to say to me "little Laura, I am so much BIGGER than these little things you are troubled with. I AM who I say I am. Trust in ME."

What a relief and know that The Lord who created all of this BIG earth, is so much bigger than anything problems we can dream up! Worrying about little things- though they may seem big at the moment- is not worth our time! God has already won the fight! I was challenged this night to REST, knowing that my God will provide just what I need. He knows exactly what He is doing- and loves me more than I can ever imagine. I only need to RUN towards him.

He doesn't ask for my perfection- for me to be the perfect teacher, the perfect roommate, or even the perfect Christian (though it should be my goal to become perfect like Him- I never will achieve it). He only asks that I glorify Him with my life. with my daily life. with the moments when I want to raise my voice in the classroom or lose my cool with someone--it's here that He gives me the opportunity to grow- to become more like Him.

I am learning to thank The Lord for these opportunities for growth. If we never struggled, we'd never have a need for a Savior. THE Savior.

He is so BIG. Rest knowing that He is much BIGGER than the "small potatoes" that come our way. Recognizing His majesty in these times is when we "chip off a corner of the old self" and become a little more like Jesus. Run hard towards Him.

Thank you Lord for being so much BIGGER.

Neither of these pictures do justice to the beautiful painting from last night- but unfortunately, I cannot run carrying a big camera. :) I will hopefully be putting up some pictures from school very soon!

Love to you from Macas!