Livin’ on a Prayer

Oh, I’m half way there. It’s hard to believe that I am already 6 weeks in and being home is 6 weeks out. I haven’t blogged in two weeks. I’m not sure I can even remember what I did two weeks ago…I’ll have to look through pictures to keep my blog up to date. 

In the past two weeks I have: 

-Attended Kathrynn’s niece Olive’s 5th birthday party~Mermaid/Pirate themed, of course! She was absolutely adorable in her mermaid outfit and ocean-themed candies and cake! A NZ icon is the chocolate fish (which is a fish-shaped-marshmallow covered in chocolate), and I finally got to try one! I must say, they are pretty delicious.

-Attended the Year 2 team BBQ. We had delicious food and amazing Pina Coladas (those of you who know me well, know that I love these!). It was great to socialize with the teachers outside of school that I have been working with for weeks

-Sunday, Kathrynn and I made it back from the grocery, and Lyndon invited us to ride his friend’s boat out in the harbor. We threw together a quick lunch and then ran to the beach. Lyndon and Marcus hopped off the boat and road behind in the inflatable boat. So, I steered the (sail) boat, but the sails weren’t up. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and I got to see Rangitoto Island closer than before. I had a really great time 🙂

-Last Monday, the whole school had a 2-hour First Aid course, which was great to attend and get brushed up on my knowledge (from when I was certified about 8 years ago). It was also highly entertaining as I wrapped Sarah’s head is gauze, had to check her for breathing, and then we gave CPR to a dummy. 

-Tuesday, I was counted as a part of the 2013 New Zealand Census….which is pretty awesome! (Yes, its legal. No, I won’t be deported for it.) The Hohaias and I sat down after dinner and filled them all out. It was pretty cool because I think the last census I was a part of was in the 90s. 

-Last Sunday, we all ventured to Pasifika in Auckland. Its a festival to celebrate the Pacific Islands and their cultures. There was food, music, dancing and a mini-market there. In the morning, there was a church service (half in Te Reo and half in English) which was pretty cool. Near the end of it, they had a dramatic/lyrical/dance about the battle within for good and evil or God and the devil….and although we can sometimes fall away from God and his path for us, he will always be there to catch us when we fall. It was amazing to sit there and realize that no matter where I am in the world-God has me in his hands. Reminds me of why I got a tattoo on my back about a year ago–NOTHING, absolutely nothing can separate me from God or His love.

-School news: Last week for Maths I taught my class “greater than, less than, and equal to.” I used a song that goes, “Alligator, Alligator, in the swamp, how many pizzas do you want to chomp?” I would draw two numbers on the board and then my students would face their chompers (arms) in the direction the symbol would go. It was such a great unit, and it was fulfilling to know I taught an engaging and effective lesson in a subject I am most concerned about. They were assessed on it this week and they did FABULOUS. 🙂

I officially finished my full time teaching assignment today. I will spend next week helping out in the classroom next door and visiting other classes, so that should be interesting. 

Not much else to add really, so I’ll close at that 🙂

March has begun

It was very strange writing “March” on the board yesterday. February flew by, which means I have been here for a month already! It’s pretty hard to believe…and that means I only have two months left. :/ The beginning of March also means that I am half-way through my teaching time here, too. I cannot believe I only get 4 weeks left with my students. I really enjoy teaching them, and their personalities mix so well. I’m excited to teach with Horizons again this summer, but I don’t want to leave here, either.

This week we discussed what was special about us or what makes us unique, and then we created wire sculptures. Let me just tell you-wire is NOT the easiest material to use with 6 and 7 year-olds. By the end of the first day working with it, I had less than half finished…the rest were struggling to even try using the wire. Unfortunately, one student was so frustrated by the end that he was in tears. As a teacher, it was not only heart-breaking, but proved to me (once again) that each student has a different learning style, a different expression of their learning, and a different point of frustration. I could easily go into why I disagree with the over-abundance of standardized tests in the states because of this, but instead I’ll continue to blog about my time here.

Within the past two weeks, I have done a few pretty exciting things around the area; pictures below.

-Went for an early morning run to watch the sun rise over the ocean.

-Pet a baby shark (two sharks that a 7 year-old girl caught in the bay).

-Went into the city to get a drink with (another American) Jaclyn, and waited in line for the bus for over an hour :/

-Traveled to and experienced the Auckland Lantern Festival with a new friend from school, Sarah.

-Celebrated my host Grandma’s birthday (with Dominos and cake)!

-Traveled into the city (with another teacher and my host brother) to watch a NZ Breakers basketball game.

-Went for a late night run (with my host dad and little host brother) to see the ocean reflecting the moon.