Sunday, October 07, 2007

Maestros en Chacala

Chacala has a new Kinder(garten) teacher this year. There was no teacher until last week, but Arturo seems to be settled in. He sleeps in the older, smaller, yellow Kinder building, which is now kind of a storage room. He still doesn't have a bed, and he's not too happy about that.Arturo's family lives in Ixtlan del Rio, about halfway to Guadalajara. I think his schooling is in Tepic, where the state post-secondary educational facilities for the State of Nayarit are located. He is going home to Ixtlan on weekends. Ixtlan is where Carlos Castenando (sp?) began his spiritual journey, for those who are older enough to remember that series of books.Anyway, I'm glad to know school has begun for the little kids. I am going to take photos of this year's Kinder on Monday. If you are coming to Chacala, and would like to bring something to the Kinder, here are some suggestions:

White board pens and board cleaner would be good.
Or pencils, plain or colored.
Small hand held pencil sharpers or a a class sized sharpener
Or stickers, and little thingies for rewards. Stars, etc.
Or a little cash so the teacher can provide "quadros", lined notebooks lined with squares that they use in Mexico for learning writing.
Simple puzzles might be good. With an appropriate size ziplock bag for storing the pieces and the picture.
Construction paper, stick glue, and sissors.

Anyway. The Primeria has two teachers. The teacher for the older kids worked in Chacala before and wasn't well liked, with reason, apparently. Unfortunately, after a year off, he's back, working with the 4-6grades.The other Primaria teacher is new to Chacala. Ulyssess. He told me has about 8 years experience teaching to two different rural schools in the mountains about Tepic. He is working with grades 1-3. I haven't heard any comments about him one way or the other. He appears to understand how to use the special computer screen they have in that classroom. It's a little over my head. Not literally. I visited with him at about 3 in the afternoon and he was working with a couple of kids, helping them with writing. Usually Primary teachers are out of here by 12:30, when school is out. Or earlier.
And Isaac is back again this year, working with kids attending the Bibliotecha after-school program. The kids seems to be attentive to his teaching and direction. Every time I am around the schoolyard in the late afternoon there are lots of kids busy doing different things. Cleaning the grounds, riding bikes and trikes, playing with balls, playing basket ball, dancing to CD's. And a large group in the downstairs area of the Bibliotecha building, working with Isaac.
The after I took these photos, I also visited with Berta (who runs Polo's Taco Stand with her husband). She also runs the school lunch program (about 12:30am) program at the Primeria. I think it's a paid job but I am not sure. It's apparently a fund raiser for the school. For supplies, power bills, etc. Berta is a wonderful housekeeper and a great house cleaner, for those looking for part-time or occasional help in their homes. She's very responsible and the best cleaner I have worked with in Chacala. Besides her mother-in-law, Gracia. She has a wonderful young 8 year old daughter.

Anyway, the school year is underway, and the grounds look wonderful. The teachers are in place, and the kids are full of energy. Ready to go.

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