Wednesday, June 10

By Gabor Sziklai, Hungary

My alarm clock is ringing, thanks God, I won’t oversleep. I am looking around a bit sleepily. Every day I have to convince myself that I am not dreaming I am here in Missoula. I try to get down from my bed. It is not easy because I have agoraphobia and my bed is so high that I can’t see the floor without my glasses. Luckily I can reach the ground have breakfast (incomparable to the yesterday’s) and a new day start has started.

Today we visited different schools in different groups. For me a school visit is one of the most important programs. Among children and teachers I feel myself at home and meeting of American schools gives me a good chance to glance into the American education. The majority of our SUSI group went to Big Sky High School again, but me and some colleagues chose Meadow Hill Middle School. I had chosen this opportunity because I‘d have liked to see as many different schools as I could to get more experience for understanding the American education system.

In my opinion I had a great time in this nice school, which serves in grades 6-8, with Bernadette, Corina, Shed and Syria. A lovely Spanish teacher welcomed us and we were her guests in her classroom for two Spanish lessons. I think these two lessons were and will be unforgettable for us and for the kids as well. We introduced our countries a little bit, taught “good morning” in Nepali, Cameroonian and Tadzik. We sang Spanish songs, danced Makarena together. Top of all that Bernadette fascinated us with singing her national anthem and with her dance. Students enjoyed the lessons and asked us to sign their albums.

I have to mention one more thing about this experience. I automatically observe the student-teacher relationship in a situation like this. I was very happy to see that the teacher must be a very enthusiastic and devoted teacher who loves her kids and profession.

Today the following challenge was the lunch in Food Zoo. Yes, it is a big challenge to say myself “STOP! Don’t eat more!” when a lot of delicious food is served deliberately everywhere where you can see. But our appetite was almost spoilt by the recognition that one of our beloved colleagues was missing. It is a very bad feeling when everybody is worried about somebody… Luckily nothing serious happened and we started the afternoon sessions in full number.

About the afternoon my feelings were a bit confused. First we heard a lot of statistics about the Native Amerindians, which were very important to understand the situation of Indian Education, but I’d have preferred more Poetry. I enjoyed that part of the lecture when Dr. Heather Cahoon talked about her identity and read some poems.

The second session was devoted to the second half of the yesterday’s workshop, which had been a workshop a day before, but today it was a deep description of Learning Targets and Assessment in the Social Studies. The PPP was very well structured and full of information, but I have to admit I sometimes got lost in the forest of acronyms: NCSS C3, AP, D2.K2, MCPS, IEFA.

Nevertheless this day also joined the row of the previous, well-organized, eventful and unforgettable days. A big thank you!

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