Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Class of the Class

Students always have interesting reasons for not doing homework. I've heard many excuses and explanations over the past few years and I thought that I had "heard them all," but this week I was actually surprised by an explanation. One of my students told me he could not do Monday's homework because he was at the Chargers' game on Monday night. Since when is Monday night American football a distraction for Mexican students? Since now. Some of my students here in Baja California seem to be more enthusiastic about American football than about Mexican fútbol. How strange is that?

The fact is that San Diego is much, much closer than any big city in central Mexico. So, people here are very connected to the US and completely tuned in to US culture. Well, I should clarify -- the upper and upper-middle class students who attend my school are very familiar with all things "San Diegoan" and they are eager to show it. It is very common for my students to hop over the border for the weekend (or for Monday night football game) and come back with lots of cool stuff. Most of my students have skateboards (or surf boards or boogie boards) that were purchased in San Diego. Many have relatives in the San Diego area. Sometimes Ensenada feels like a suburb of San Diego -- at least for those privileged enough to cross the border with ease. The other funny thing is that almost everything my students' families buy in San Diego is cheaper than they could find it in Ensenada (even everyday goods, like toilet tissue). These Mexicans go north of the border to find bargains!

So, one among the several things I am getting adjusted to in my new job is "the class" of the class. In Denver I teach many new immigrants whose families are struggling to improve their lives in the US. I spent much of my time at Merrill Middle School working with newly resettled refugees whose families were working very hard to completely rebuild lives shattered by civil war or other violence. In Denver I was often considered a rich teacher by my students. Here, it is just the opposite! I am the "poor" teacher struggling working with very privileged students.

I guess if I want to change my image here, I'll have to make sure that Nathan and Theo wear Patriots or Broncos shirts around town, rather than the Chivas shirts that they like so much!

Here are some of my 6th grade students playing during recess. (Hey Ben-you would love recess at our school!)

1 comment:

logan said...

NO WAY!! I wish we had recess like that. When can come hahaha