Another WorldTeach day-in-the-life from Chile Semester volunteer Lauren Lastra, reporting from her site in gorgeous Peñablanca. We are still accepting applications for both our year-long and semester-long programs in Chile for 2011, departing in March and July, respectively.
6:55am- I awake from my Dreamland to the sound of my alarm. beep! beep! BEEP! Somehow I always know its coming and wake up just moments before it goes off, wishing, hoping for a few extra minutes of sleep. I roll over, slip on my pantuflas (slippers), and turn on the lights. My body still longing for some shut-eye, I crawl back into my warm, cozy wool blankets and check my email all the while applying my mascara and lip-gloss.
7:30am- I eventually roll out of bed and downstairs for desayuno which is waiting for me on the dining room table. Each morning it’s the same thing: a yogurt with oats, pancito with turkey and cheese, and coffee. Mi mama usually will join me for desyauno. While we are eating breakfast, my host brother and sister are running around the house getting ready for school and my host father is enjoying breakfast in bed.
7:55am- I grab the bright pink lunch sack from the hallway table and head to school with mi mama. It is a five-minute car ride from our driveway to the front door of campus. We head straight for the sala de profesores and get our materials ready for our first class. Sometimes I enjoy a coffee with the other teachers if there’s time. But usually, I am in a scramble to get to class!
8:00am- All the students line up outside for morning announcements. I enjoy the bright morning energy and the sweet goodmorning besos from my students. The cold air and warm smiles awaken my senses and I immediately feel energized to teach!
8:15am- My students head to my classroom where I greet each of them at the door with a big cheery “hello!” or “goodmorning!”. They quickly settle in and I begin class right away with a hearty “GOOOODDDDMMORRRNING!” to which they all respond by standing up and saying in unison: “Goodmorning, Miss Lauren!”. A ball toss usually follows as we practice the five key questions that we’ve been reviewing all semester: 1. What’s your name, 2. How old are you?, 3. Where are you from?, 4. How are you?,
5. What do you like to do?. By the time I leave I hope that all of the things my students have learned this semester they will be able to answer these five questions.
11:15am- I head to the sala de profesores for a break. I lesson plan, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, and chat with my co-teacher. Claudio and I usually talk about our classes and any student behavioral problems amongst our constant chatter of laughter. I am lucky to have an incredibly warm and welcoming co-teacher who makes me laugh every single day.
11:30am- I head back to class for more teaching!
1:00pm- ALMUERZO! Again, I head to the sala de profesores where most of the teachers circle around the red and white checkered table to enjoy lunch together. Since my school is small there are only about 15 teachers total. I gratefully enjoy the lunch mi mama packed for me and I eavesdrop on all the student drama the teachers dish out! Around 2:05pm I head back to class to wrap up teaching for the day.
3:30pm- I gather my materials from class and put everything away in my locker. I then take some quick notes on my classes and what material was covered in class. I leave school and walk a block to catch the micro back home. I am usually surrounded with students at the bus stop and I like to practice my Spanish with them.
4:00pm- I arrive home and head upstairs to my room to relax. I usually get out of my work clothes and into my sweats. I then check my email, my facebook, and chat with mi familia. Sometimes I’ll read a book outside and soak up the sunrays, or write in my blog, or help my very studious 11 year old brother study for an English test, or watch my energetic little sister do gymnastics in the hallway. Other days Ill catch up with family and friends on skype, or take a drive to Villa Alemana with my host dad, or simply lay in bed and rest.
8:00pm- Family onces! We all enjoy onces together at the dining room table- me and my host mom, dad, brother, and sister. Our perrita Luna, a weiner dog, is staring at us from outside through the sliding glass doors as we enjoy pancitos and usually a postre (dessert) of some sort, wagging her tail and hoping for some leftovers!
9:00pm- I then head upstairs and get ready for bed. I say goodnight to each one of my family members with a beso and oftentimes my little sister will come into my room two or three times in the evening just to say “goodnight” in English and give me another beso.
10:00pm- I get back under my cozy covers and reflect and/or meditate for an hour. I then find myself in my Dreamland again…