First Day with Students June 19, 2012


Okay, so my job here is kind of weird and unformed.  I don’t have a title,


which is the Chuukese way I guess.  It’s not like I’m hing up or nothing about titles and status, but I am a little hung up on detail and clarity of purpose.

So the deal is there are two divisions during the summer here.  One is the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).  This is for local students whose families want them to attend Xavier but who did not pass

Dai Dai

the entrance exam.  There is a lack of students from Chuuk attending this school, and the Director, Father Rich, is trying to reverse this.  So these kids are doing intensive summer school and will have an opportunity to retake


the test and possibly get invited to the school.  The other is the HAP (High Achievers Program).  This is for local middle school kids who show academic promise.  They take math, reading, and English (grammar–it is a Catholic school after all) classes to ready them to take the entrance exam when they get to eighth grade.  These HAP


classes are taught by rising seniors here at Xavier.  So as near as I can figure, and how it’s been explained to me is my job is to plan curriculum and help these high school students learn to be teachers.

So I’m not working directly with middle school kids.  I see the high schoolers as my charges, and quite frankly after meeting with them yesterday and working with them today, I’m psyched. These kids are nice,


polite, and, so far free, of snarky irony.  It’s refreshing to work with students who trust the teacher.  It’s not that I want them to blindly follow me or to be passive.  They don’t, and they’re not.  It’s just that trust thing.  I’ve been in high end independent schools in a culture that pays lip service to education but has little respect for teachers, I forgot what real teaching feels like.  I can teach without having to second guess myself all the time.  Again it’s only the beginning of the adventure, and I know how all this can change, but right now, I’m loving my students.

If this is the gig, it’s cool with or without a title.

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One thought on “First Day with Students June 19, 2012

  1. We miss you. Lucy and I are snuggling with Banana and Polar Bear. My parents arrived this evening. Everyone is tired. Love you.

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