A few weeks ago, Colegio Diospi Suyana had its first exam week. I was worried about all the kids trying to take their exams in Spanish without any help and the director generously agreed to my coming to school for the week to go from classroom to classroom, translating and helping. It was a great experience.
Sarah and Noah, our first graders, didn’t need any help at all and did marvelously on their exams. It really helps to be young– language comes more naturally and the material is not nearly as difficult. I enjoyed seeing Sarah in her class, working hard, but I would just peek in and wave and then see her at recess. Annie and Sydney, in third grade, were fun to work with because they are, to generalize, girls, and they want to have complete, neat papers, and they try hard, and they work together. They had a couple of light-bulb moments, especially in math, when they had to fill out some addition and subtraction tables/ puzzles and they figured out how it worked. I wondered how they had faked it when they did it in class. Peter really impressed me by his perseverance. Several of his exams were long, really long, and we had to translate a lot of it too, and he pressed on with good attention until the end, day after day. Of course, he was most excited and knowledgable about science, but I think he liked studying the night before and then watching how much he knew on the exams. Good lesson to learn. David and Benjamin did amazingly well with tough material in another language. Their different personalities really amused me in how much they wrote on their tests. Neither seemed stressed by the challenge. During some of the practices before their tests, David really participated and shouted out answers (some of them wrong). They both did really well on their dictation and understanding (without formal instruction) how to spell Spanish and to add accent marks. I was impressed with each kid’s Spanish. They have learned an amazing amount of vocabulary, grammar, conversation, and listening, which is the goal that we parents have set for this year.
I was pleased to see how well most of their classrooms were run, how well behaved the kids were, and how fair the tests were. Praise God for this encouragement and the chance to see into their lives in a way I would not have been able to otherwise. I think it was good for them to see how much they can accomplish and how God has helped them.