Teaching elementary school students is so different from teaching high schoolers. One of the big differences I’ve seen is that elementary schoolers are very good at following directions without questions. High schoolers aren’t as quick to fall in line. On the other hand, high schoolers are much better at behaving in class. At least, most of them are. (My freshmen can be a little… energetic, to say the least.)
The third graders are finally starting to see me as a legitimate authority figure. St. Columbkille has a schoolwide discipline policy and I’ve been following it, but it still wasn’t enough to deter them from acting up when I was around. The past couple of days, however, it seems as if the students are warming up to the idea. Today, it finally didn’t take five minutes for them to quiet down before we went to recess (and five minutes is a long time for kids). It makes me think that we’re finally getting somewhere!
After school today, we went to a supermarket called El Super, which is less than half a mile from the convent. It’s one thing to be the only two white people walking down a street, but it’s completely another to be the only two white people in a grocery store. This was really the first time that I felt out of place at all. I think one reason is that everyone there was going through their normal routine, and I had never been there before. Most people who visit a grocery store they’ve never been to feel a little bit out of place. However, add on top of that the fact that we were the only two people of our race in the store. That made me feel even more out of place. One little Latino boy stared at us as if he had never seen a white person face-to-face before. And indeed, he may not have.