Why I will Forever Be Indebted to Dr. Seuss

First day of school.

After which, my brain was similiar to that of scrambled eggs, and my bones felt like they were made of jello. All I wanted to do was sit down in silence. Preferably next to a fan.

Amidst all the  parents and their little cubs scurrying about frantically,the teachers were trying to remain calm. And as in teachers, I mean me. However daunting the situation, I tried to keep a smile on my face to assuage any feelings of doubt the parents might have had. For some of my kids, this is the first time they have ever been to school. And boy, can you tell.

My kiddos

“What is your name?” I asked the students after the parents left.

Nothing but a blank stare.

“What is your name” I repeated.

Again. Nothing but big brown eyes staring at me, in the depths of which screamed confusion.

“Cual es su nombre?” It didn’t take me long to switch to Spanish. And like that-Presto.

The kiddos rambled off their names. Of which, I had to shorten to their first. In Latin culture, most people have 4 names. For example: Jose Luis Fernando Garcia.  Okay dude, sorry, but you’re gonna be going by simply Jose this year.

Okay, so that was a start. We then proceeded to learn how to form a line for a good hour, followed by a little Dr.Seuss, and then lunch. For them. Not me. I have just accepted that a lunch break is something that is out of the cards for me this year. Not gonna happen.

As for lunch, it  is quite a presentation here. It is the biggest meal of the day, and the Mom’s go ALL out. Elaborate meals are delivered to each child containing dishes of  homemade tortillas, beans, fried rice, plaintains, fried chicken and my personal favorite-caldo de pollo (chicken soup). Thanks mom. I love refreshing your child with a crash course on Spoon Usage 101, followed by cleaning up what didn’t make it into their mouths. Great idea. Just grrreeeeat. What ever happened to the classics? Grilled cheese sandwich anyone? Or even in a tortilla if that is what floats your boat.

Before his crash course on Spoon Usage 101.

Much better..now lets see if I can do something about that slurping!

After lunch, we practiced the alphabet. This was loads of fun thanks to my all time favorite Dr Seuss’s “A-Z”. They really enjoyed that.

But dang. I anticipated them knowing more English when I did my lesson planning. Not to mention, it can be pretty intimidating having a room of 14 children who have literally no idea what you are saying.    Entonces, I quickly learned the 5 Spanish phrases necessary for my survival this year:

1. Venga- Come here!

2. Sientese- Sit down!

3. Escucha- Listen!

4. Mira- Look!

5. Quitate- Stop it!

Furthermore, I don’t want to hear any  Kindergarten teachers complaining back home. What with your air conditioned classes, English speaking kiddos, and unlimited supply of  resources.Oh how I would kill to have enough scissors and glue to go around.

However, all in all- I can tell its going to be a great year. I see the potential for growth, and I am excited to see the transformation. Today is day two, and already they learned the letter A, can write it, and are now responding to “What is your name”. Plus, they remembered how to line up at the door! Rad.  With improvement like this, these kiddos are going to be stars when I’m done with them. So here goes.

Oh the places we will go….


  1. Sounds like a great experience. How often do you change areas? Countries?

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