I'll try to keep my posts shorter, but it is just so hard when I want to share everything! Today was my first day at St. Andrews. The typical school day at St. Andrews could not be more different from a school day in the U.S. We started out with a faculty meeting where the teachers prayed and sang church hymns together as well as a devotion with scripture. St. Andrews is an Anglican school. All of the schools here are formed based on religious denominations. There are Catholic, Anglican, Nazarene, and Baptist schools here. There is no air conditioning in the classrooms, or anywhere in the school for that matter. With it getting up to 100 degrees today, you can imagine how hot it was. I am currently still adjusting. The students started out with a twenty minute time block in which the teacher taught a bible lesson. Then we spent an hour on math skills. My students are currently learning the relationship between repeated addition and multiplication. The students used beans and egg cartons as manipulatives to help them visualize the problems. Recess was from 10:00 to 10:15. Then we had an hour of language arts instruction where new vocabulary was introduced and the students practiced their writing. St. Andrews has very high expectations for students' work and requires a high degree of neatness. Unlike the United States, the schools have very limited access to worksheets, if any. The students complete most of their work on notebook paper in small books. After language arts, we dismissed for lunch. Carly and I came home and Ms. Harrison made delicious chicken burritos and mango juice. We assembled back at school and began social studies, where the students learned about transportation by air, water, and land. Then we moved on to Spanish instruction and then finally homework time. St. Andrews strives to give its students the opportunity to be bilingual. Each day the afternoon schedule changes and students receive instruction in various areas. Each time the students meet or dismiss they pray. Religion is a key component of the curriculum here, which is very different from public schools in the U.S.
Tonight Carly and I went downtown to grab a bite to eat and did some souvenir shopping. Today was a very long, but great day. I'm looking forward to relaxing and calling it a night. Pictures will be coming soon!