Well I’m starting to settle in my new home for the next year in Ibagué, a small but at the same time not so small city in the heart of the Colombian Andean region. The city (so far) has a very friendly atmosphere, is incredibly hot, has tones of greenery and a lot of empanada places, which is always a win. Though the biggest win is probably the scenery around us, lush green mountains everywhere.
Today was my very first day as an English teacher and, much like everything in Colombia, consisted of pure chaos.
First of, let’s start with the little story of how I nearly stepped on a homeless person on my way to work at 6am. In my defense, he was hiding underneath a canvas bag and the only thing I saw was his feet sticking out of it at the very last moment.
Managed to make it to school on time (applause). The first week I was told is always slow since students are doing re-sits, teachers trying to organize the lesson schedule and so on. All we are suppose to do is just observe the classes, think about how we can improve them and just generally try to adapt to the new environment. Did that happen?
Yes, you’re right, it didn’t. My very first day I got sat down to supervise a group of 6th graders retaking their English exam. Let me set the scene for you: a weird foreign girl alone in a room with some 12 year-olds, none of us having the slightest idea of what’s going on.
Thankfully my mentor/supervisor wasn’t gone for too long and the exam managed to go smoothly till the end under her supervision.
This week is also the time when parents come in to get a report on how their child is doing in class. Guess I look like a teacher since I had a few parents come up to me asking questions. Though there’s not alot of teachers with tattoos and multiple piercing around. Actually,none whatsoever (way to not stand out Judre, well done). But at least I got to practice my Spanish so it wasn’t a complete fail.
The school I am working at is the oldest in Ibagué and will be celebrating its 200 year anniversary in 2022. The staff I met so far are very friendly and eager to speak English with me in order to improve and in return I get Spanish lessons. Everyone wins. I have not met my own students yet, but got a few friendly catcalls as I walked down the hallway so how bad could they really be?…
Stay tunned to find out next time:)