The First Day of School

Message of the day (shared by Rita):
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. (Mother Theresa)

Finally, the first day of school! It meant a 7:00 a.m. breakfast, bountiful as always, and a 7:30 a.m. departure with either Iza or Gosia driving us to Cisie Elementary School. Pat was to teach 2nd and 3rd grades, Jim and Ed with 4th graders, Rita with 5th graders, and Carol with the sixth graders—mercifully all small classes.

We entered, were escorted to the Teachers Lounge and shown to our individual classrooms. Open, curious, smiling faces followed us with “Good Mornings” amidst a happy bedlam…an affectionate legacy from earlier Global Volunteers!

Comparing notes, I believe we each found a warm reception and traded “successful” approaches. Time did not stand still as we had feared, and students were genuinely responsive—Bingo, based on colors and shapes was a really enjoyable exchange in my classroom.

A discussion of different sports brought wide responses—girls favored snow-boarding, and boys, more predictably football/soccer. Between classes we were invited to the Faculty Lounge for coffee or tea and elegant pastries—Just saying “No!” proved hard!

The Spoleczna van needed service, so a local taxi driver, Andrzej, delivered all five of us to the Spoleczna School in Siedlce. Here again a noisy chorus of “Good Mornings,” and small, responsive classes. Our morale was definitely improving, and courage returning. The Faculty Lounge offered another round of tantalizing goodies…promise of a weight gain!

Again at lunch we shared insights over pickle soup. For Jim and Rita, a young university graduate would be coming for an hour’s tutoring mid-afternoon.

Wednesday would come soon enough, but our initial exposure today was most reassuring. Our students are attentive and responsive. Aren’t we lucky to be a part of Global Volunteers’ 21st season here in Poland under Dorota’s confidence-building leadership.


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