Today was the start of my volunteering!! I signed up to volunteer back in the beginning of February but it just got started this week. Every Wednesday morning from 8:30-10:30 I get to help out in an elementary class during their English lessons! I woke up early this morning to make sure I was there on time (it’s a 35 minute walk) and was surprised when I showed up that barely any adults at the school spoke English. I finally found a really nice old teacher who knew a little and he brought me to the classroom. As we were walking he told me that he used to get coffee with an American and he would speak English while the American spoke Italian to him (I should look into that). He was really cute saying how he missed those times.
The teacher of my class didn’t speak much English either so I got to use some of the Italian I know. It was surprising that once I was forced to use the language I didn’t realize how much I knew! The third graders came in soon after I got there and they were all so cute! Little kids speaking foreign languages is like the cutest thing ever I think. So then the English teacher came in (beautiful/totally stylish/really nice) and I introduced myself to the students in English. I told them my name, age, what I liked and where I was from and they understood it all! Then each of them stood up and said “My name is ___. I’m (their age). I like ___ (usually pizza).” Then the teacher gave me the textbook and told me I was in charge of the lesson! They were learning activity words and it started with me reading them and then them repeating the word. Then they had to match pictures with sentences that rhymed. For example, “I play tennis with Dennis”. I was amazed at how smart they all were and all very quiet. No one shouted out and they all politely raised their hands to answer. So sweet!
After that the teacher wrote “can” and “can’t” on the board and they had to say if they could or couldn’t dance, ski, play the trumpet or ride a bike. So each would stand up and come to the front of the room and say something. It was adorable because they would say something like, “I can ply thu trumpe” and the teacher would say “ask Rosie how to say it” so then I would repeat the correct order and pronunciation a couple of times until they got it. It was really cute because after two of them went they would just come up and only face me and like whisper to me what they could and couldn’t do. Some of them were really good and would get it on their first try! We’re talking 7-year-olds. I’m 20 and can’t say the majority of things i’m learning in Italian and I have it for an hour and a half 4 times a week…
We finished up with a matching game and after just a couple of hours I really fell in love with the children and just the fact that they were learning another language. Yes, I started learning Spanish in first grade but I couldn’t tell you anything about it now. Here, you’re considered ignorant if you can’t speak English! If only that were the case in America with other languages! So naturally (if you know me you know I want to have every profession ever created and always change my mind on what I want to do) as I left the school I decided I want to get another degree once I graduate in Italian language and be a teacher.
I can’t wait to see the kids next week!!