Weekends with My Spanish Speaking Friends

It has been a wonderful blessing to have my weekend groups going again. I am starting small which is intentional on my part, so there is flexibility if the whole COVID situation changes. My groups have five friends who speak Spanish, two from Cuba and three from Mexico.

We have bonded quickly as a group. We have a lot of fun studying together and laughter fills in the room. They are people who normally would not be able to go to a class during the week due to work schedules, so being able to come Saturday and Sunday morning means a lot to them.

Yesterday we went out for lunch after our morning class. One would think it would have been at a Mexican restaurant, which would have been great for me, but they wanted burgers, so off we went to Red Robin and had burgers.

This morning after we practiced English for 45 minutes, I read a bible verse to them in English and then in Spanish. It is a verse from John 17 where Jesus tells God the Father that he wants us to be with him in heaven.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

“Padre, quiero que los que me has dado estén conmigo donde yo estoy. Que vean mi gloria, la gloria que me has dado porque me amaste desde antes de la creación del mundo”

Then I shared the music video What A Beautiful Name with them first in English and then in Spanish. They have asked me to remember to pray for them, which I happily do

I shared a closing thought with them that I want to share with you based on the verse in John 17. Jesus wants us, wants you in heaven with him for all eternity. It is the reason he came and died on the cross for us and defeated death for us. If we trust in him, have faith in him, he shares eternity with us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Relaxing Summer Friday

Yesterday after I did onboarding with the public school system here, I hung out at. Can you guess? Yes a coffee shop.

One of the fun things for me for me about hanging out at a coffee shop in the summers is seeing fellow educators I usually only see in passing during the school year. When we run into each other in the summer it is time to catch up on life,

Yesterday I ran into my friend who is a French professor at the university in my city. We met in the coffee shop when she was speaking German with her husband. When I hear other languages being spoken, it draws my attention. I greeted them in German that day and we chatted.

Back to yesterday, it was wonderful to see my friend again. Last summer was the shutdown so no hanging out at the coffee shop. It had been a long time since I chatted with my friend. We talked about Europe, places we have both been to there, French food, and teaching language.

Life is so interesting when one day i can interact with a fellow educator who is trilingual-English, French and German- and the next day teach English for friends from Cuba and Mexico, I get to practice my Spanish with them too. I will also see my Brazilian friend and practice Portuguese.

It is funny that I am trilingual as well but in English, Portuguese and Spanish, So my French professor friend and I have to talk in English with each other.

Life is back to normal for me. I wonder if I should say that because my life has never been normal. lol

What will you do this weekend?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Summer Plans

Yesterday I finished closing out my classroom for the year. As I interacted with my fellow teachers, we talked about our summer plans. Summer plans are always a big topic of conversation for teachers. In the past, I have enjoyed ministry trips to other countries during the summer. Due to COVID, there will sadly be no international travel for me this summer, but I do have some plans. One of them begins today.

After my morning conversation group today, I will go to a- can you guess where?- to hang out for the afternoon. I’ll give you a hint. It is a place that makes that magical beverage.

I will bring my Greek textbook and workbook. I will also bring my commentaries on the Book of Acts in the bible. It is time for some deep studies to begin. My summer plans? Refresh my Greek, Hebrew, Portuguese and Spanish.

Another focus will be on my weekend groups. This weekend will only be the second weekend we are meeting again. Now that the mask mandate is over, I can teach a language without wearing a mask. I can finally model pronunciation again.

For my fellow Northern Hemisphere dwellers, what are your summer plans? For Southern Hemisphere dwellers, what are your winter plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesdays- In The Green!!! and 2 more weeks

It FINALLY happened. My city went down to green on the COVID risk dial. Our mandatory mask wearing is going away. It is time to celebrate. Life is getting back to normal but what the new normal will look like will be an adventure to explore.

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When we went from red to orange, I bought oranges to share with the teachers at my school. When we went from orange to yellow, I bought bananas. I am not sure what to buy for going from yellow to green, but I will buy something. I will go to the school this morning to close out my room for the school year. Maybe I will just buy chocolate and candy.

Two weeks from today I will finally have my appointment with a specialist at the University Medical Center in a city one hour from my city. My hope is that there can be a definitive diagnosis now that there is proof I have psoriasis. I am not sure if I will start a treatment program that day but I sure hope so. I am tired of waking up at night with pain in my left hand.

Hopefully the city where my appointment will be will also do away with their mask mandate so I don’t have to wear one to the appointment. I am not opposed to wearing a mask it is just that it wrecks havoc with my asthma.

So we are in the green here-FINALLY and my appointment is only two weeks away. Such thoughts lift my spirits.

Thank you for reading, God Bless.

Back In The Game

What a weekend!!! It is as if my life is starting again. Saturday morning my Saturday morning English conversation group started again after a 14 month break due to COVID. Four Hispanic friends came, two from Cuba and two from Mexico. We did an intercambio, exchange, mostly of me helping them with English, but they also helped me with Spanish.

Saturday afternoon I hosted a retirement party at my church for my colleague for my morning class. We managed to surprise her. We had students from my morning class, my colleague’s family, people who she worked with at other schools, and people from the school my morning meets. We had SO much good food and a lot of fun.

This morning the same four Hispanic friends came again for my Sunday morning group. We did an intercambio again and also listened to some worship songs in Spanish, It was also the first Sunday morning I enjoyed worship service in person.

This afternoon I will try to catch up on blogging. The past week was so busy with finishing up my morning class. But what a weekend it was.

How was your weekend?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

End of this COVID School Year

It’s a wrap. This morning is the final class for the school year for my morning class. This crazy COVID year is coming to an end. This morning we will have a celebration with all of the students being in the classroom and there is so much to celebrate.

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I am so proud of the moms in my class. They began the year feeling uncertain about many things but they stayed with it. They learned a lot of new tech programs such as using Zoom, Google Quizzes etc. There English levels improved noticeably. They helped each other and the sense of community actually got stronger among them.

My assistant was awesome. We had an adventure together and she handled all of the unexpected things well and even tolerated me. 🙂

This school year has been unlike anything I have experienced in my over 20 years of teaching. I am so proud of my students and my assistant for not only making the best of a difficult situation, but for excelling during it too.

I am so thankful for Jesus helping me through this year, for my morning times with him, for how he helped me through his people, and for everything.

It’s a wrap. Looking forward to a better 2021/2022 school year.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Surprise During A Baby Shower

In my morning Family Literacy class, when one of the moms is expecting a baby, we have a baby shower for her. We have been doing so every year. This year one of the moms will have a baby in July and since tomorrow is the last day for our class, we had a baby shower for her yesterday.

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The other moms brought gifts and one of the moms took them to the expectant mom. She opened the gifts while we watched via Zoom. She was about half way through the gifts when those of us in the classroom had a surprise. It was fire drill time. The fire alarms went off and we had to leave the room for about ten minutes.

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I laughed inwardly thinking it was a fitting end to a crazy year. Having class during this past year of COVID has meant having many moments of needing to be flexible. No harm done. We came back after the fire drill and finished the baby shower.

Tomorrow we will have an ice cream celebration in class. All of the students will be in class. Hopefully no fire drill tomorrow. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- My Epic Failure Yesterday

A few of my fellow teachers and I have a countdown for how many more mornings of needing an alarm clock. We do this before each break like Christmas Break, Spring Break, and of course before summer. They are a bit jealous my countdown is shorter due to my morning class ending four days before their classes end for the year.

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When I have a day off from my morning class, I call it a no alarm clock day. When the alarm clock wakes me up on school days, it is a love/hate moment for me. I love teaching my morning class, so I begrudgingly get out of bed wishing I could sleep some more. I can’t throw my alarm clock out of frustration because I use my iPad for my alarm clock.

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So about yesterday and my Epic Failure. I set aforementioned alarm clock for 6:30 in the morning. Much to my chagrin, I woke up at 6 in the morning meaning I woke up before my alarm clock could perform its unwelcome intrusion upon my slumber. I realize this may cause you to worry about my welfare, but let me reassure you that I did survive my Epic Failure.

It helped that I had time for a most welcome event called an afternoon nap. Naps are wonderful and I believe can be a spiritual endeavor. Jesus took naps. He slept in the boat in the midst of a storm. I really need to get the shirt that says0 ‘Jesus took naps. Be Like Jesus.’ 😉

How do you feel about alarm clocks?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Empowering My Teaching Assistant

Tuesday morning during my morning Family Literacy Class, we had someone from the National Council for Family Literacy observe our class via Zoom. This happens a few times a year. The NCFL opened an office in my state and my class is funded by them.

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I believe in giving my assistants experiences they can draw from in the future, so when I set up the breakout rooms, I looked at my assistant and said, “Hannah I am going to place Jessica, the NCFL person, in your breakout room for 15 minutes.” I might have neglected to let her know ahead of time I had been planning to do that.

My assistant did great just as I knew she would. Now she has that experience to draw from in the future when she is a teacher. I believe in empowering my assistants and volunteers and letting them rise.

My assistant will move to Texas later in the summer. She is applying for teaching jobs there. We have had a great year together. I have been trying to convince her to stay, but it is difficult to compete with the fact that her boyfriend soon to be fiance lives there. 🙂

My morning class ends in a few weeks, It has been a year unlike any year in my twenty plus years of teaching. Jesus blessed me with the perfect assistant for a year like this.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.