January 29th, 2019: Relationships

Day 2 in the Classrooms at DLSBS, read more here...
Troublesome Teaching
Today was the second day of teaching at De La Salle. I expected today to be a little easier than yesterday since we had the chance to get to know the kids a bit more. I was very wrong. Not only did we get to know the kids, but they got to know us too...including all the ways to push our buttons. Despite their constant annoyance, they remain to be some of the sweetest and joy-filled kids I have ever met. They all would much rather spend their time learning about my life back home than working on their classwork. In fact, I bribe them to get their work done by telling them they can ask me a question every time they do “x.” This has been the most efficient way to get them to do what they are supposed to be doing.
This morning, we started the day with a presentation from a nutritionist about eating healthy, which while not the most exciting topic ever, was fairly interesting. Then after the presentation, Gabe and I went to the Fourth Grade classroom (where we have been assigned to work throughout the week) to begin one-on-one tutoring in math. Later they read a passage from the Gospel of John about communion. This was on account of their rapidly approaching celebration for their First Communion on Thursday. Several periods were spent today going over what was expected of them and how to actually receive the Eucharist, accompanied by a shot from a Nerf Gun depending on if they were able to properly go through the motions. After lots of practice, we went to lunch and recess where we played excessive amounts of basketball. There were at least five different games going on at the same time on account of the single court they had to share with the fifth and sixth grades too. Once the kids were energized, we went back to class. I was then asked to describe the concept of decimals to this girl Peyton where I learned I am not very good at my explanations. Thankfully, the much more capable math teacher was around to provide clarification. At the end of the day, we went to their after-school clubs with them. I went to woodworking with a boy named Shannin, who I assumed hated me until then because that is something he frequently told me. This club turned out to be more of a social club than actual craftsmanship. Afterward, the kids got picked up or left, and all of us went to listen to a presentation from Patricia, an active member in the church, to tell us about how faith has played a role in her life as a Blackfeet member. There were many connections that I enjoyed hearing about, such as the relationship between the 13 poles used in a traditional Sundance which are often compared to the 12 Disciples and Jesus. When Patricia finished talking to us, we watched the 8th graders play in a volleyball game against the Browning public school...they lost. But it was still fun to cheer them on. Once we got home, Mr.Bobak started dinner and filled the house with the smell of onions - tears were shed. Currently, everyone is either playing the card game “president” or cleaning up from the meal. We are all very tired, but none the less optimistic for what tomorrow brings. Spoiler alert: snowshoeing in Glacier National Park. (TJ, Class of 2019)

I can already see the benefits of this immersion trip on my life with my morning routine.  I set out my outfit for the next day and pack my lunch the night before.  The day in the bunkhouse begins like the past days with early rising quick showers and being on the way to the school by 7:00.  Morning is becoming less chaotic as the week continues because people are realizing how tired we feel in the morning.  The morning drives to school are enjoyable for me because I get to see the frozen Montana landscape and the first signs of light, and I have some time to reflect and ready my mind for the day’s challenges and joys.  The first thing we do upon arriving at the school is to start a game of knockout and as the students arrive, they begin to jump into the games.  Other activities start like volleyball, usually resulting in a mob of students taking on three or four of the immersion students; this is my favorite morning activity. 
 
After morning announcements, the Blackfeet word of the day is said as well as the saying of the pledge of allegiance and the playing of the Blackfeet anthem.  The immersion students are lined up on the half-court line and after the morning activates there is morning welcome when everyone walks by the line of immersion students and shakes hands and says good morning.  This makes me feel like a valued part of the community and is a good opportunity to have a positive interaction with the children we will be interacting with through the week.  After morning activities, there was a nutritionist speaking to the students for Catholic schools week.  This reminded me of my days in middle school when a similar speaker came and talked to us.  After the speaker, the class had a religion class where I worked with two children on reading and highlighting a bible selection.  A female student I was working with was able to complete the activity despite finding the task difficult and laborious.  Then the class practiced on how to receive communion for their First Communion, the teacher was teaching the procedures while TJ and I were stand-ins for the Eucharistic ministers. After religion, the children had math class, I had the pleasure of helping a girl that was seriously struggling with her multiplication. Despite some minor disruptions, the class was an overall positive experience.  The kids were all excited for lunch and recess, the lunch for the children took a long time to arrive and the kids had a lot of fun.  After lunch the science teacher gave a presentation on important saints and assigned a project to the students to write what they would be the patron saint of.  During the Physical Education class all the students were having fun and it was nice.  After school we had a presentation from a Blackfeet woman who knew a lot about the religion and how it works with Catholicism.  We had a lovely diner and reflection as a lovely end to a wonderful day in Montana! (Gabe, Class of 2019)
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Calvert Hall College High School

8102 La Salle Road | Baltimore, MD 21286 | 410-825-4266 | 410-825-6826 (fax)
Calvert Hall College High School is a private Catholic college preparatory high school for boys, located in Baltimore, Maryland. Our mission is to foster Men of intellect, Men of faith, and Men of integrity in the Lasallian tradition.