It's hard to believe that I haven't had my own classroom in over 8 months.
I'm about to enter my 6th year of teaching. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday I graduated from the University of Wisconsin. And now here I am living on an island. Weird. Back to the story.
The wait is finally over. Next week is Teacher Planning week here in Tonga. What does that mean? It means that every teacher on the island of Vava'u Lahi (my island) plus the outer islands will come into Neiafu (the big city - 5,000 people big) and go through a week of Professional Development in order to prepare for the new school year which will begin on February 4th. 5 days of Professional Development done all in Tongan. You can bet I will have my Tongan Dictionary at hand and ready for all the 'faka-" words they will throw my way. Here are some that I might hear, see or do:
respect - faka'apa'apa
cooperation/meeting - fakataha
constantly watch - fakasio
to cluster or crowd together - fakapupupupu (pronounced fah-kah-poo-poo-poo-poo)
to verify/certify - fakamo'oni'i
to explain or interpret - faka'uhingatonu'i
Also, I am still busy setting up my classroom. It's quite the challenge when you have limited resources. Here's what it looks like so far:
This is what you see when you walk in. That's supposed to be me peaking out from behind the "Y".
These posters were still up on the wall from the last Peace Corps Volunteer who served here. I especially liked the "M". Can you guess why?
The ceiling is made of chicken wire and something that looks like tinfoil.
Posters to practice word chunks and blends.