Today there is no school. It is a holiday in the Dominican Republic. The campus is open for staff to come in and work if they want to. I came in and worked this morning partly to get things done but also to get out of the house I am living in for a little bit. I am enjoying my time there but it is nice to have some time away from the house where everything is loud and constant.
I am writing health curriculum for my main responsibility. I definitely have my work cut out for me. The school has adopted the Washington State Standards to follow. It is difficult to sift through the standards and break them up into appropriate units as well as not get frustrated when the standards are require things that I don’t view as important as some other concepts that the standards do not require. I am mainly just trying to get a grasp on how everything is set up between the curriculum template and the standards so that as the writing process moves along I will be more familiar with the resources.
So far I have met all of the staff and they are very helpful. Unfortunately the Sara Espinoza (the administrator for curriculum) is out on maternity leave until February so I will have to figure out a lot of things on my own until then. There will me a lot of trial and error in my time here I am sure. (There has already been a lot of that with my Spanish).
Tomorrow is the first day of school for the semester. I am nervous but hopefully I can get a hang of things.
Tuesday January 11, 2011: 8 hours
Today was really hard. I really hope that it only gets easier from here. I am sure that being out of the country and feeling not comfortable is not helping at all but man am I on my own in my work space too. Today I had some orientation done with one of the staff members named Shelly. I am going to have to do a better job of putting myself out there and trusting that people don’t mind me coming over to hang out after work to get a break of my host family every once in a while. That is one of my biggest struggles but I don’t know how I am going to survive the next four months if I don’t force myself to get over it.
After orientation, I tried to start working but it pretty much turned into me holding back tears the whole time. I am get overwhelmed when I look at the standards and think about the curriculum because I have absolutely no idea where to start. Especially for the entire curriculum that I am not actually going to be teaching. I don’t know how to not come up with lesson plans and still write curriculum. The PE teacher doesn’t come from a teaching background and so he is not of any help and the woman who usually helps with all the curriculum writing is out on maternity leave. She might not be back here until February! So I tried to keep it together for a couple of hours and then had to go to the bathroom to let some tears fall that had been building. After that I just decided to work on my lesson for Monday’s health class and I got that about half way done….if I did it right. But at least I will have something to teach. Of which I am really nervous about. I would say one of the biggest frustrations right now is feeling like I have no direction and feeling completely inadequate. It feels like this is never going to get done but I must must must remember that I have four months. If this wasn’t a big project then it would take four months. I just don’t know how to tangibly break it up into manageable portions yet.
I also need to figure out my morning routine better because that really affects my days and I have known that since high school. I need to have ample and slow time with God in the mornings. It is just hard at a host family’s house where you don’t feel comfortable. I just need to try. I brought this journal my mom bought me a long long long time ago. I can’t even remember how long ago but on the front it says:
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
I knew that would be me here. And that is exactly how I feel today. That is the only thing I can lean on and not feel like a failure. I also am going to try and work as hard as I can take while I am at work but then leave it at the school. Hopefully I can let it be for the time after I am off till when I go back again in the morning. I am not good at that but I will try.