We are finishing up week five of ten weeks of training here in the Batu area. Even though we are half-way done it feels more like 75% as the days and weeks are going faster and faster. We actually just completed the hardest two weeks of training (God, I hope).
For the last two weeks all of the trainees have been teaching in local schools to prepare for our upcoming lives as actual English teachers. Depending on the kind of school in which you are teaching, you are scheduled to teach a certain number of lessons. My co-teacher/co-trainee, Matt and I taught three (three hour) classes together at a local vocational school. Will and his co-teacher taught in the same school along with the rest of our language cluster group.
My day (and pretty much Will’s day) went something like this:
The alarm goes off. I’ve grown to enjoy this since nobody is up yet and the house is actually quite (and by quite I mean that all I hear is the damn rooster outside my window and the prayers coming from the mosque speakers).
I go to the mandi for my cold scoop bath. I wear clothes into the mandi (noun), mandi (verb), then wear clothes out of the mandi. I get dressed, put on make-up under a dim flourescent light bulb and try to fix my hair.
I boil water for exactly three minutes to make it safe and use it to make my oatmeal and coffee. Sometimes I fry an egg too. I eat breakfast, take my vitamins, then walk over to Will’s house to meet him for our walk to the minibus, which will take us directly to school (about ten minutes door to door).
We are at school for six hours. Maybe we are teaching, maybe we are observing. Likely we are sitting in our designated area waiting to meet with our local counterpart to find out what our next lesson should be. Lesson planning and teaching has been pretty interesting and pretty fun. We learned quickly to expect school schedules to change randomly and for plans to fall through. For instance, Matt and I planned an entire (three hour) lesson based on the syllabus of the English department when we found out the teacher we were working with would be in Surabaya until the morning we were supposed to teach with her.
Lunch at home
Bahasa Indonesia language class.
Mandi (verb) and dinner.
Lesson planning, bahasa Indonesia homework, TEFL homework or Peace Corps homework.
Reading in bed.
Yes, I go to bed at 8:45pm and wake up at 4:45am. THAT IS CRAZY! The crazier fact is that WILL DOES IT TOO! Anybody who has ever worked with or known Will very well will appreciate how crazy this fact is.
This practicum schedule was for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Friday’s are just as long because we go to Malang for “Hub Day” and the hours are even longer. Tuesday’s we got a bit of a break as we learned about teaching English (starting at 8:00am and ending around 2:00pm). Sunday is family time without plans, but Will and I spent most of the last one recovering from various ailments (for another post). That schedule is not sustainable, and luckily we have about one more day of it.
Next week we have a week of language training and we are planning an English camp on Thursday for a local elementary school. The week after that we are going to visit various current Peace Corps volunteers at their sites around East Java. At the end of that week we find out where our permanent site will be!