Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blue Mushrooms and Blue Classrooms

Dana's class visited the neighboring town of Santa Rosa, and Tom went along as a parent volunteer, to hike with a botanist and learn about local plants to finish the 4th grade's botany unit.  From Dana's point of view the technicolor fungi and the blue mushrooms were the highlights.  The kids even cooked and ate those indigo mushrooms.

At Colegio Yeccan Waldorf, Dana is in a class of eight students with a super friendly and caring teacher.  Dana's friend Danae is bilingual in English, and helps Dana understand some of the teacher's instructions.  The math works well when Maestra Elisabet writes it on the board, and Dana writes her essays in English.

Noah is one of seven students with a bilingual teacher originally from the US, and uses Spanish with his classmates, although they also speak some English as it is taught twice a week at the school.   Both kids are in classic Waldorf surroundings - pastel blue  classroom walls, wooden desks, tile entryways.  And they do movement class on the roof terrace.

After their morning block with their teacher (Noah just started perspective drawing and Dana's will be a math focus after they finish up botany), both kids have a variety of classes.  Twice a week in addition to movement class they have: woodworking, handwork (knitting for Dana - they started with making the knitting needles out of wood and just chose their yarn, sewing for Noah), English, music (singing and playing the recorder), and German.  The two German teachers are young college-age volunteers who are here for the year.  Apparently it has been a long-standing program exchange program.  For our kids it is quite a puzzle to learn German through Spanish, although both German teachers speak English well.

Tom and Laural attend Escuela Mexicana classes three hours a day (grammar, vocabulary, and conversation) plus two hours a week of salsa dancing.  We're also doing an hour of homework a day.  The school is located in el centro, so we walk the kids to school along the panoramic ridge where we live, then head down to our school.  It is yellows and oranges and has three levels, with the middle level having an open patio and the upper level a rooftop terrace where yesterday I had all my classes and got a little sunburned (it is also where the last photo on this blog was taken).

Most of the Waldorf students are Mexican, and we make small talk in Spanish with their families in the morning and afternoon.  We talk longer in English with a family from Switzerland and others from Colorado and New Hampshire.  After the social time, we say buenos tardes to the University of Guanajuato student who sells cheese on the corner, and head home to make smoothies and hear stories of blue mushrooms and blue classrooms.

1 comment:

khoelsch said...

Dana, Noah, Laural, Tom!

Your adventure has taken on some wonderful "rooted-ness," no? Great to read about and see pictures of your Waldorf school with curriculum much like the Bellingham school, but with an international flavor. Hope the teachers at Larrabee and Fairhaven and Burlington HS are getting to follow along on your adventures.

PS Love that salsa dancing!