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First Impressions Sometimes Get Second Chances by Joanne Skourletos

August 30, 2015

Going into this experience, I really wasn’t sure what to expect when in the classroom. When we pulled up in front of the school on our first day the rickshaw we were in was literally surrounded on all sides by students who were overjoyed to see us. As students tried to introduce themselves and ask our names I was overwhelmed by their eagerness to get to know us. We made our way into the center courtyard, where students continued to flood us with their friendly smiles, handshakes, and questions. When instructed, students formed straight lines and separated themselves by gender. The group of over 150 students took part in choral chants, songs and prayers, some of which were familiar to me, like Boom Chika Boom, one of my students’ favorites. Students even welcomed us by waving and saying “Hello teachers,” all together. The morning assembly was a great start to our first day. Once it ended, students were dismissed and began going to their own classrooms. Their interests in the new teachers remained and students continued to introduce themselves, shake our hands and ask our names. Some students even came up to us asking if we can come to their classroom. Another teacher arrived, and I was ready to be assigned to my classroom. She came up to us and we were informed that we were not at our assigned school. WOW!

This news was surprising to me. When I originally witnessed how welcoming the students were, I figured their teachers had primed them with the information that teachers from Teach For America were coming to assist in the classroom. After learning that that wasn’t our assigned school I couldn’t believe how welcoming the students had been even without knowing who we were or why we were there.

Jo 1

The students at the morning assembly.

Jo 2

Students at our first school we visited had swarmed the rickshaw and  surrounded us in the courtyard as they asked questioned and introduced themselves.

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