Sometimes I wonder what to write about, and yet, I sense that God is in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
This week started with a Monday holiday, which is always pleasant. It gave me a chance to catch up on some grading and planning, and to enjoy some down time over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon I received a text message inviting me to join a BBQ at Logos on Sunday afternoon. With Monday off, I felt comfortable doing this, so I enjoyed a swim in their big pool, and catching up with friends and colleagues from that side of town. A very pleasant way to start the week.
Tuesday it was back to school, knowing I would be missing two students, and discovering that another was away was not totally unexpected. My challenge for the day was a student who arrived half an hour late for school. Since we are starting each day with a series of spelling pre-tests, it's a pain when students are late. The next day the same student again arrived half way through the test, and so had to wait until the test was finished before he could join us. That may seem tough, but this student has a history of being late at least once a week, and often more. The test then has to be made up sometime, and with our packed schedule, that usually means Friday afternoon. Not my favorite time for testing!
The rest of the week was pretty much just an ordinary week. Thursday morning I sent one poor kid home when he was sick at recess time. He didn't come Friday either, for which I'm grateful in a way, because that means he has time to recover fully and is less likely to share bugs with others in the class.
Friday had one scary event. We divide the class into boys and girls for swimming, and while the girls swim on Wednesday, the boys have an extra Khmer lesson, and then on Friday they swap over. Unfortunately, our classes are not evenly balanced with boys and girls. I have 8 girls and 13 boys, and the other class has 7 girls and 12 boys. That means our girls' swimming class is a pleasure, and the boys class is a real challenge. With 12 boys down the deep end of the pool (and I mean deep - I cannot touch the bottom for quite a good area of the pool), I usually number them off, and then they swim in smaller groups. I'm glad I had done that on Friday. There are some important rules about the deep end, and one is that students cannot go down the deep end unless they can swim the width of the pool twice without touching the bottom, so the kids in my group can all swim to that extent. There is also always a teacher in the water at the deep end with the students, and a spotter on the outside. Unfortunately on Friday something happened and one of my boys decided to panic. He was actually very close to the shallow end at the time, but because he got scared and panicked, he was in trouble. Fortunately, God prompted me to turn around from the other student I'd be watching closely, and spotted the problem and was able to get him out without a major problem, but it was a lesson for me. After discussing it with the other teacher, and knowing that a very capable Khmer assistant is available on Wednesday when we swim, I requested permission to swap the boys' and girls' swimming days, and to have the Khmer assistant work with us on those days. Permission was granted and I hope we won't have any more scares like that again. Just goes to show, that you can never let your guard down in the pool, even with capable swimmers!
So that's the end of just another ordinary week. The week ahead is actually just two days, and on Tuesday we have a field trip to an Ice Sculpture Display. The children will enjoy this, and it will give them a chance to experience what it is like to be in a really cold environment, which will help them understand a little more what life is like in the Arctic biomes when we study them later in the year. Stay tuned for photos.