Monday, November 06, 2006

Hipidy Hop!

Sunday has been a fun-filled day of lesson planning (Yea!), meeting a friend at café for a slice of cake, making corn tortillas for the first time, and reading from Alfie Kohn’s book: The Schools Our Children Deserve. I mentioned in a previous posting that I was reading this book. I love it. It justifies much of what I’ve tried to do as a teacher for the past several years. My style of teaching is very organic. Despite my lesson plans, I find myself to do what feels right at the moment. I looked over some of my planned lessons from just last month and did not recognize them; I did not do them. Yet, I believe that my students are much better off for that. They learned what they wanted/needed to know. If only I’d discovered this book before my demoralizing experience in Samoa, I could’ve explained myself better, defended my methods and had more confidence in what I was trying to accomplish with my class. I am very happy that people like Mara Ashley, Kate Moran and Peggy Halek gave me the guidance and support that I needed. They rank up there with Kato Erisama and Isaac Munnu as my mentors in education. I learned so much last year. My Samoan experience will always be important to me. It was my trial by fire and helped me to define who I am as a teacher. If anyone reading this blog has kids and is moving to Tutuila, American Samoa, let me recommend Pacific Horizons School. It is a little slice of educational heaven on that hell of an island paradise.

Back to Sunday… While at Pap Café (a complete misnomer: pap being a bland soft or semiliquid food such as that suitable for babies or invalid), a street vendor came around selling fried grasshoppers. Yes, it is that time of year: grasshopper/ensenene season! Anyone who has spoken to me about my Peace Corps experience in Uganda knows how I savour these little insects. Words of wisdom: Don’t knock it till you try it. I bought a paper cone full and enjoyed a couple with my friend, David. It was a pleasant afternoon.

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