Thursday, June 2, 2016

DAY SIX - Toy Story Aliens

After finishing our first day at Church Hill Primary School, it was extremely easy to pick out what was my favorite part. Monica and I happened to be taking a water break in the shade at the exact moment that Kaye brought black paint back to the site. She asked for two people to assist her with something and Monica and I, being in close proximity, immediately volunteered to help.  Kaye guided us accross the site, over the net ball court and into the third grade classroom.  She pointed out the dry eraase board that the teacher was using and the two black boards on either end.  The black boards were not in the best shape and hadn't been used as chalk boards for quite some time.  They had since had posters glued to them, stickers stuck on, and staples and nails inserted.  They needed to be scraped completely clean and repainted with the black paint. Monica took the chalk board to the left of the board and I took the right.  Kaye spoke her classic, "Make it work!" and left us to our new task. To the students, it must've been strange having us in their classroom as they worked. We started slowly and carefully removing the posters hanging from the board, while the woman teaching the third grade class began explaining why Monica and I were there an what were doing. The kids stood up and in unison said "Thaaank youu" and then the teacher started the lesson for the day. It began with a song, complete with hand motions. As I started scraping the board with a paint chipper and prying off countless staples and nails, I was able to catch a verse that was about the pricelessness of education and how it's a treasure worth more than silver and gold.  I turned back to face the 8 and 9 year old students standing behind me and couldn't help but smile. Wide eyed and in matching uniforms, they were too cute. As I swivelled to face the board again, the posters that I had removed caught my eye.  In my haste to tackle the board, I hadn't really looked at the content being displayed in the classroom. The handmade posters had titles such as "WANTS & NEEDS" and "MORAL VALUES". The "WANTS & NEEDS" poster described the difference between the two, and behind it were three more posters.  One was a small poster that defined WANTS as items that make us more comfortable, but are not as important as needs.  The other two posters went into details and examples that define NEEDS. I thought to myself that I had never seen posters such as these in an American classroom. It made me think of how wasteful our society can be and how skewed our line is between wants and needs. Once I'd finished cleaning the board, I started applying the jet black paint over the old, worn out wood. After the first two stroaks of the paint brush, the entire third grade class Ooooooohed like the tiny aliens in the vending machine from Toy Story the movie. It was incredibly gratifying that just this little deed could spark so much excitement and thankfulness. Soon enough, Monica and I had both boards finished and looking rejuvenated.  I'm certain we wouldn't have been able to finish the work as quickly without having the students laughter and singing to listen to. Another amazing day in the books with some stellar human beings. Very tired and  ready for bed! Over n' out, Johanna P.S. Love you Maum and Alleia.................JK LOVE YOU SO MUCH TOO DAD! Hope all is well with you all and that you had an amazing time with Amy and Matt.  Please give Trixie a hug for me......I'm talking to you seester.

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