Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spelling Bee

Two weeks ago some younger students (2 groups) in my school were preparing for a Spelling Bee. They would compete with other students in their level, first against students in Santa MarĂ­a then against students from the other schools. Julie, an exchange student from Denmark, and I got roped in to helping out the teachers. I thought "helping out" meant that we´d be with a couple students reviewing a list of words that they knew. It turned out that the teachers just gave us 15 kids each and a room. I´m not even sure what kids were left for them to teach. A couple of times we got kicked out of our classroom because another teacher had it, so we just shuffled around the school and found other classrooms.

They did give us a list of words, a different one for each group. I ended up taking the older group (with more difficult words). We asked the teachers if we needed to do something in particular, but they just said that we can do whatever we need to do and take breaks whenever. When we did take breaks, I´m not even sure if all of them came back because there were so many students. The teachers asked that we work with the students from the start at around 7:15 to 12! I got really good at using "you (plural)" commands. It was so long, but we did this anyway Thursday, Friday, and Monday. We did take ample breaks because it was so dang long. Sometimes I just sat back and talked to the students about Ecuador (like the nice beaches and citys). A classmate and Lara, another exchange student from Germany, came and visited (They told me our class was doing nothing - big surprise) when we were talking and said that I was a bad teacher, but I told them that I wasn´t the teacher and had no obligation because they weren´t paying me. Sometimes the students called me "Teacher," and I said "Who?" because I´m not the teacher. They snuck snacks (prohibited in class) in at first then I told them that I don´t care. We did review most of the words.

The words were crazy hard! I asked the students if they had ever seen this list of words before, and they said that they hadn´t, so that was even better (sarcasm), starting fresh. Some words were juggernaught, gourmet, quiche, and courier - crazy - amounting to 1,289 words. Since they didn´t know the words, I just let them glance at their list if they needed to. They had enough trouble with their letters.

On the last day, the teacher did buy Julie and me a hamburger and coke so that was nice. I don´t think any of them won against the other school because I haven´t heard anything, and from those that I did see, they said they didn´t win.