Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Bell

Today is Ziuă Conștințelor, or the Day of Knowledge, and I will presume that today was given this honor because every year school begins on the same day, the first of September. Which is quite different from the randomness of the beginning of school in America. Today, however, was much more of a celebration rather than an actual school day.

All of the students came to school best in their best clothes…for the boys that was a shirt and tie, and maybe even a jacket, and for the girls this was a skirt and a fancy blouse. In addition to dressing their best the students also brought amazing amounts of flowers for their teachers. For the most part it was roses but I also noticed carnations, and daisies as well. The main event of the day was an assembly in which everyone congregated in a semi-circle around the front of the school, including all the teachers, the director, the priest, and the mayor. Mostly it was a lot of welcoming in a new school year and the same speeches you hear every school year. But it changed slightly when the 12th form students lead the 1st form students to the front of the school, a representative of the 12th form then bestowed upon a representative of the 1st form a (fake) key to the school as a token of welcome. After which the 12th form sang a song that I had trouble understanding except for numerous uses of the word "children." The first form children were given a folder with paper and pencils and then were lead to each individually give a speech…yes 1st form students were each asked to say something in a microphone…mostly this amounted to a very simple rhyme about leaving the preschool, saying goodbye to August and hello to September, but still impressive to me. And of course it wouldn't be complete if the 1st form didn't sing a song as well.

After all of this I was even more nervous about what my director would expect for me to say in front of the crowd in Romanian. Especially if they even had 1st form students speaking…luckily after the director introduced me to the school she simply handed me the microphone and made me say "Buna Ziuă." Crisis Averted. After the director, mayor and priest had each said a speech the assembly was over and the students were lead inside to take attendance. This amounted to about 30 minutes of a getting to know you/ taking attendance class with their dirigente (home room teacher), thankfully I am not a dirigente…so I just sat in the office with the other non-dirigente teachers and waited for them to finish. Once that class was finished we had a quick meeting with the director so that she could write down how many students came to school and who was absent. I was given permission to leave by the director at around 11:30 (after past misunderstandings I always make sure I have permission to leave before I go home). Basically a 3 hour workday and I didn't even have to teach classes. Fun!

Tomorrow, however, the real fun begins. I will be teaching four classes, two of the 10th form, one of the 8th and of the 11th. The best part is that I already have lesson plans for the 10th form from practice school. So all we needed to plan was for the 11th and 8th forms. Even though I will only teach four classes tomorrow, my partner teacher has 5 classes, because he will teach the 2nd form on his own…(I am very thankful for this). He was also able to convince the vice-director in charge of the schedule to create an optional German class for him to teach in addition to his English classes. Apparently with my help he feels like he can take on more classes then he usually does. Hopefully this doesn't come back to bite us…

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of today's events but if you wait until next year I'll remember to take pictures then….hopefully.

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