Sports Day

Whew! Today was lots of fun and sun (and B.O.!! :))! We celebrated the third annual Sports Day at Lighthouse and I was so thankful for the many parents that helped. All I had to do was keep track of 22 students :)
Morning warm-ups

The sun was super bright!

The boys recently started playing ''Maracuya 1 2 3'' where one boy says that phrase and the last one to cross his arms is punched. It was a popular passtime today while waiting for our running race to begin.

Even though it was hot and sunny, Latin American culture is still a very ''touchy'' culture!

Cute girls :)

The boy in the yellow shirt was one of my co-teacher's sons. She was so proud of him winning the 2nd grade race!

My girls ready for their race.
The winners surprised me with their running abilities!
He won by a long stretch!

Tug of War

Teamwork :)

Volleyball with 4th grade.

And one of my students cute little brother. He definitely lives up to what his shirt claims :).


What to Do at the Beach

 Photo shoot in your beach coverups and sunglasses.


Stalk palm trees.

Observe the details.

Dog watch.

Scare crabs.

Take pictures of passer-bys.

Enjoy the greenness.

Be cheered by the flowers.

See horses.

See Guanacaste trees.

Photograph yourself with random dinosaurs.


Crack the Code

As a teacher, I am daily trying to ''crack the code'' that each student is communicating to me as the authority and to their classmates. A daunting task to say the least. God is amazingly creative and has created each of my 22 students so differently that I am sometimes overwhelmed by the list of diverse needs.

I have 4 ''tough guys'' in my class this year, and I cracked 3 of the boys' codes last semester. I now know that one really needs to be offered a choice as he likes to have a sense of power, another appreciates a conversation (sitting side-by-side :)) about how he can do better next time, and the third responds well to when I ask him ''How can I help you next time in that situation?''

I was also able to establish personal connections with these 3 last semester through asking them about their fencing class, the baby brother, the older sister, etc.

So that leaves the 4th and I think I finally made advances this week. He and I had an ''expectations meeting'' on Tuesday to clarify what I expect of every student in class, and after clarifying expectations, he had a couple of great days. Then the bomb came on Thursday morning when he started acting out during the math lesson, making noises to distract classmates, making faces to get attention and laughs, etc... I went over to his desk and asked ''Do you have questions about the assignment?'' and he asked me several questions, then got right back to work. Could it be that he gives up on the concept and begins to act out because he doesn't understand?

My hypothesis was correct again today as he became outwardly stressed during computer class because his computer wasn't working. He wasn't able to finish the project and became visibly irritated and began making fun of classmates. I walked over, asked ''How do you feel about your computer not working?'' He responded ''I feel stressed.''

Progress: he stated how he felt. His face said he wanted to do well, to understand.

Cracking codes are part of my job... among many other things!

Painting with Santiago

 Natalia got out the paints last Sunday...
 And it lasted for (maybe) 10 minutes...
 Then we were off to other adventures...
 like rock-collecting.
 and hide-and-seek.
 and posing for photos.
 and hugging the Virgin Mary statue.
 trying out our new sandals...
 one last pose...
and then he turned his back and wouldn't look at the camera anymore.


I'm a Bad Blogger and I Know It

Okay, you don't need to tell me. Yes, I know. You feel left out of my Costa Rican life and would really like to know what's up.

Haha, that's a narcissist statement if I ever heard one! While I haven't updated in over 2 weeks, I also know your lives don't revolve around mine :)

That said, life has been crazy here. I flew to back to Costa Rica Feb. 5th after two necessary weeks at home with family. The summary of my last 12 days can be summed up in what my nerdy teacher self would call a phrasal verb: catch up. From whirlwind review with fractions and hydrosphere units to grading endless mountains of papers to hearing from students all the substitute injustices they experienced to long spanish conversations... I've just pretty much been exhausted after 7pm every night... with more papers to still grade. BAH

I had joined a gym for a month before the family emergency, so now that I'm back, I'm putting it to good use. From the elliptical to the taebo/pilates classes, I am enjoying the emotional outlet. Could be why I'm so tired after 7pm :)

Also, through a connection my tico family has, I got a translation job writing English subtitles for a destination travel TV show. Random, I know, it just kind of came out of nowhere. But hey, they're paying me to study Spanish, so for now, it's working out.

So that's a summary. Busy.

Students have expressed their gratitude that I am back. It's good to be appreciated :) and I've received so many compliments about my fraction-teaching skills, haha. ''Miss Siscoe, you're so much better at this than the subs were!'' ''Math goes by so much faster when you're here!'' Just what a busy teacher needs to hear.

So with that, I'm off to bed. Again, I apologize for the lack of posting... I have photos of tico family adventures to post soon!


A Eulogy in Photos

Lyneal Weston Siscoe was my grandpa. There are many reasons he was the best grandpa I could ask for.
 Reason #1. He gave bunny ears mercilessly.
 Reason #2. He shared his toys with his grandkids.
 Reason #3. He made floats for local parades.
 Reason #4. We played dress-up in his work clothes.
 Reason #5. He was strong enough to carry us.
 Reason #6. He used to be young too... even though I don't remember :).
 Reason #7. He was the youngest of 14 kids... He's the baby in this photo!
 Reason #8. Grandpa danced the YMCA all by himself at his daughter's wedding.
 Reason #9. He married my grandma! :)
 Reason #10. He raised some cool kids.
 Reason #11. He made us stand in a sunflower field for a summer photo.
 Reason #12. He bought a motor for his paddle boat.
 Reason #13.He gave us rides whenever we needed it :).
 Reason #14. I was his first grandbaby :).
 Reason #15. He would read to me.
Reason #16. He always let us drive.