After a nice breakfast that included a Polish omelet, Don, Jack and I headed out to Cisie for our first day of teaching. Natalie, our Polish counterpart teacher, picked us up and we had a nice chat along the way. Although I felt a little nervous, I was happy that I had met my students and observed the class yesterday.
POL1509A1 Don Maher (51)As we pulled up to the school we were warmly met by students and teachers alike. Echoes of hi and hello followed us we were whisked into the teachers’ lounge. Before we knew it the bell rang and we were off and running.
My students were eager and very energetic. I introduced myself and we took turns asking questions about our families and our likes and dislikes. It was wonderful to see how some took to this activity so quickly but it was also fun to see others participate with a little motivation.
Don, Jack and I had coordinated our lessons and they had similar experiences. Jack had some very energetic boys and came up with a great idea to take them outside and toss a football while asking and answering questions.
After we returned we spent some time planning then Don worked one on one with a local teacher. They had a great time discussing chemistry and chemical terms in English as next year she will be required to teach chemistry in English. I was very impressed to learn that Polish teachers are rising to this kind of challenge.
At lunch Rene shared some of his experiences from the morning. He is working at a Technical School and his students were studying hospitality and mechanics. His main focus is to motivate them to reach for their dreams. He finds that some realize that English can be a great “leg up” in achieving these dreams. He likes having the opportunity to help along the way.
POL1509A1 Polish children (28)Jack’s, Rene’s and my dad continued with a visit to the community center. All the students here participate on a voluntary basis. They all come after long days at school and work and it was inspiring to see how much they want to learn and practice English.
In the evening we received a great treat. A dance class was holding a workshop at the Manor House and they offered to perform for us. What a wonderful ending to a great day.

Message of the Day: You should never tell a child that his or her dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

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