The first days at Spiru Haret

I’ve arrived in Focsani and am being made to feel most welcome. I’ve been set up with sleeping accommodations and Prof. Carmen has gone to great pains to be certain I have ample access to meals.

My first day was a drop-in visit on Friday to a couple of classes and to meet a few teachers.

I met a retired music professor, Valentin Gheorghita, well-known as the maestro of local choral groups. He graciously presented me with a pass to that evening’s performance.

Monday found me in the teachers’ lounge, after visiting several more classes, filling out my dance card for the week. Everyone wants me to visit their classes, with even the Spanish teacher trying to figure out a way to shoehorn the English tutor into her class.

After an introductory week I will be encouraging my new colleagues to make the greatest use of my presence as a conversationalist. Drawing out and sharpening the speaking skills of the students is the entire point of my tenure here. We have to find the way that allows the teachers to cover the necessary material and yet allows for maximum speaking time for the students.

Dry run in Rm. Vulcea

While visiting a friend in Rm. Vulcea I was invited to lead a class of 8th grade students of English. It was a class of various skill levels. Unfortunately, the presence of a foreigner set them off a bit and left the hour less organized than I’d hoped. It did show me that my first introduction should be as class observer to note the ways the local teacher handles the students.

My ‘sponsor’ from America, the Romanian-American Network (Chicago) has provided a rather impressive Protocol de Collaboration to add to my dossier.

Seven more days until I arrive in Focsani.

getting ready…

Sorry this layout is so ugly, but I haven’t figured out wordpress, yet.

The books I sent ahead have arrived! I didn’t want to show up empty-handed. I didn’t get any additional funding from my attempts in Chicago, though I’ll leave the GoFundMe site open for any stragglers and to send follow-up books.

I’ve spent many hours downloading teacher’s tips, word games, activities, and other things to use in class.

I carefully weighed my checked-bag and got it to 49#. Oh, for the days when Americans could take two 70# suitcases! Hopefully, they won’t weigh my carry-on. I’ve got all my outer garments (a windbreaker, a hoodie, and two sweater vests) tightly wrapped, as well as a backpack and umbrella.

I’m making sure I have enough on my cards to cover the three weeks surrounding my time in Focsani.