>> Monday, February 04, 2008
Today was the first day of classes for Nicaraguan schools and it was pretty easy to tell this morning. For the first time in a couple of months, everyone under 18 was wearing blue pants and a white shirt (nationwide uniforms--even for private schools) and Holly and I had stuff to do in the morning.
When I got to school in the afternoon the corridors were completely packed with students and parents. Why weren't they all in their classrooms? Well, it's because classes weren't assigned yet. There was a brief assembly where people half-heartedly mumbled the national anthem and then everyone tried to find their classrooms. For the first year students this was really confusing because none of them had any idea which of the five sections was theirs. A teacher would read the list of names to the few students gathered around and everyone who wasn't on that list had to go find another teacher to see if their name was on that list. What's more, even though students weren't assigned classrooms yet, they all got very territorial about the best desks. Rather than first find their classroom and then find a place to sit, everyone got a desk first and just carried it from room to room on their heads. This definitely didn't help the congestion in the hallways.
Needless to say we didn't do much teaching today. We might begin tomorrow, but the schedules still haven't been finished. Our school is short about 3 teachers so right now 220+ students are going to be crammed into three first'year classrooms. I'm ready to start teaching, but 73.3 students in each class might make things a little tougher.