sept 24

Today was our first day of our community service placements.  A girl down the street from me is at the same school as me, so we went together.  We took the above ground train there and then walked.  We got off the train RIGHT by the Arsenal stadium, so that was cool to see.  It was pouring rain so I finally got to wear my cute rain boots.  We got to school way early, so we figured out that we only have to allot 25ism minutes to get there, which is nice.  There are 3 other UST kids at my school, but we’re all in different grades.  I am in Year 2, which I think is about 6-7 year olds (we haven’t really figured out how Years compare to Grades).  There are about 25 kids in the class, so it’s really chaotic.  My teacher, Miss McCarthy, is young and good at dealing with the kids.  Her classroom is interesting.  There was the teacher, me, a guy studying to be a teacher that was there observing, and then an assistant who from what I can gather is there to help with one particular girl who must have some sort of disability.  The teacher is clearly really musical: she sings “Alex are you here?” for attendance and then the kids sing back.  Schools seem a little different here.  The kids are TRAINED to sit on specific circles of the carpet any time they hear the teacher start to count.  Kids who are naughty get a few warnings, and then have to sit in time out facing the wall in a corner for a few minutes.  The kids were naughty, so the teacher made then sit in silence for 5 minutes before lunch, cutting into their recess.  I pretty much just walked around and helped the kids when they did individual activities like writing and math.  After volunteering, we had to go to school for night class, so everybody was talking about their service.  It sounds like my site is pretty good – some people who said they wanted something environmental are helping clean up river and waterways every Monday – yikes. 

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