All in the life of a 5th grade teacher ....

Trip Start Jul 31, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of San Jose,
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Well again I have let too much time pass before another update! Things have been busy as usual as we celebrated Independence Day here in Costa Rica as well as had our first progress reports due! The life of a teacher never slows down! 

First off, an update I forgot to share earlier was that my class had its first lice breakout! We had it in the fifth grade. Always a fun experience to have! Knowing that you might have it in your classroom makes you itch constantly! I found myself in the nurses office twice getting checked because I was freaking myself out! Luckily, I never ended up with it and I am hoping that we have it all taken care of at school! I had the pleasure of having a broken water heater while we had the lice in my class so I was often stuck only taking cold showers. Not exactly what you want when you feel like you have lice crawling all over you! Hopefully we won't have to deal with that anymore

In other class news we had a huge Independence Day celebration at school on September 14. The Spanish department puts on a big assembly and then the parents bring in lots of typical Costa Rican food and we have a party! It was a great day! My students performed a dance. I have it loaded on the blog, hopefully it is able to play. I also have some pictures from the day. The younger students all wear traditional clothes. The 5th graders where white shirts and jeans, usually with a bandana as well. The assembly was great! Then the amount of food the parents brought in was crazy. We had quite the feast! It was all so yummy too! I have yet to have any Costa Rican food that I haven't liked! 

Also, in the 5th grade we have reached our first time to turn in grades! I was a little nervous to send them out, not because they were bad grades but because you never know how parents will react. Especially parents who are paying a lot of money for the school. Luckily, no problems yet. Though I will probably start having more parent meetings from now until grades are due. I love to keep parents in the look but they sure to intimidate me sometimes! 

I have so far been loving the 5th grade age. My kiddos are so dang cute! I love that they are still at the age where they like to give me hugs and get really excited about learning. It sure makes my job more fun. The other day one of my students said "Ms. DeGreeff you don't have an earring!" as we were walking to PE. Thinking I had lost one of my earrings, she waited for my reaction then goes on to tell me that I dont have one earring I have two. She got a good laugh out of how worried my face was! I also had a student who I asked to bring me her notebook. She was looking in her desk then came and gave me a hug. I began thinking she must have left it at home and was giving me a hug to lessen the punishment, I asked again for the notebook and she got it from her desk. She said she just wanted to give me a hug! They sure do keep my smiling everyday! 
I can't believe that we have been in school for almost 2 months already! Time is going by fast! I don't know what happened to September! As much as I want to soak in every minute of Costa Rica, I would be lying if I said I didn't want December to be here already so Kev could be in Costa Rica with me! 

Today was another busy day, we had a Family Picnic at school. It was for our whole school, all the way up to the high school. It is a fundraiser for each of the high school classes to raise money for their senior trips and such things. Most of the high school tables organize food to sell as well as some carnival games. The middle schoolers have field games and the elementary teachers are in charge of having one activity per grade leve. The 5th grade team was going to make recycled coin purses out of milk cartons but had a lovely surprise this morning when we discovered they all hadn't been cleaned out very well :) So with a last minute switch we did bowling instead. It was a nice day. I was able to see some students and parents and eat some yummy food. Unfortunately I totally forgot to take pictures of the event! I need to get better at that! 

Outside of school I have begun my spanish lessons. I have to say I am liking being back in the classroom. I am taking a lesson one time per week from a parent from the school. It is a free lesson and it is right at school! Perfect! It is providing me with a great refresher of my skills. Now I just need to make sure that I am practicing more! My hope is that after lessons for a semester or so I would change over to having a language exchange partner. This would be someone who wants to learn English and we would meet and talk half the time in Spanish and half in English. We provide each other the chance to learn and it is free! 

Tomorrow I am off on a day trip to Poas. It will be nice to get out of the city! I will try to get an update up as soon as possible this week! 

Hasta Luego! 

- Ashley

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