of Todos Santos
Como maestra es muy emocionante iniciar el ciclo escolar, conocer a tus alumnos, las diferentes personalidades que tienen, tu grupo, sus intereses, sus gustos, sus formas de expresarse y todo lo que tienen dentro para compartir. En este inicio de ciclo todos hemos estado muy abiertos y dispuestos a escuchar, proponer y trabajar juntos. Los niños en su emoción por ver de que forma son las clases y lo que vamos a hacer en cada una de ellas, han puesto todo su esfuerzo para adaptarse a las tareas, proyectos y lecturas que hemos hecho juntos, en Historia empezamos a descubrir la importancia de las Culturas Antiguas y como en la actualidad tenemos rasgos de ellas, en Literatura hemos dialogado sobre un libro de texto en particular, sus características y como la información se nos presenta con diferentes caras, discutiendo temas del Medio Ambiente, la Agricultura Ecológica y las Energías Renovables y así en cada una de las clases hemos ido construyendo con sus pensamientos, e investigaciones el conocimiento juntos.
Toda nuestra comunidad de la Escuela Sierra de Todo Santos, maestros, alumnos y los padres de familia hemos trabajado en nuestra escuela poniendo de nuestra energía para generar un ambiente lindo y agradable para todos, desde saludarnos por las mañanas, agradecer la ayuda de los demás hasta preparar la tierra para sembrar, rastrillar nuestra escuela, acomodar el jardín, limpiar las áreas que usamos, entonar un OM en yoga para mandar nuestras bendiciones a todo lo que nos rodea, todo esto para generar un ambiente de respeto, creando las bases de una comunidad sana y responsable en nuestro espacio de trabajo y juego.
El camino es largo y estamos preparándonos para seguir en el, con la mejor disposición y las herramientas necesarias para que estos seres humanos que ahora son alumnos este preparados para este gran mundo del que formamos parte.
Gracias a todos por su confianza y alegría que han puesto en las semillitas que estamos plantando y que en unos años veremos crecer juntos!!
Thanks to an extraordinary volunteer effort and generous help from our teacher, student and parent community, we started school with two working classrooms on 21 September 2015, with nine students enrolled. Fabrice, our math teacher, myself, English / comparative literature and creative writing teacher, Nataly Muñoz Talavera, our Spanish language literature and history teacher, and Cheri Streimikes, our visual arts teacher, are all hard at work with our students, five of whom receive full or partial scholarships. Fabrice, Nataly and I, along with visiting lecturers, are responsible for leading our first year ecology class.
What fun and how meaningful to start classes for nine students in sixth and seventh grade mathematics, English literature, creative writing, Spanish literature, history and geography and visual art. Non-Spanish speakers will take a one-year intensive Spanish class; and non- English speakers will benefit from a one-year intensive English class. Our students are excited too! As we arrive to school before the day starts, already, sixth and seventh graders, Diego and Sebastian, are waiting for us to open the school gates and for our school day to begin.
In our first week, we held discussions, took notes, read aloud, reviewed homework, solved math problems, spoke in English and Spanish, sketched pencil drawings, drew maps, discussed world history, wrote math definitions, swept, raked and watered our garden, discussed the definition of ecology, cleaned our school, ate lunch together, and held weekly Thursday lunch and all-school meeting. We talked, listened, and laughed. In addition, students are learning the responsibility of labor for school as each one has a twice-weekly responsibility of a job to care for our school: sweeping, raking, washing floors, watering and tending to our garden. Students will post in our blog very soon!
On Tuesday and Friday mornings, we do practical ecology work to better our school environment. This past week, we hoed organically fertilized dirt and raked our vegetable garden for planting. We planted our first vegetable and herb seeds. In addition, each student has an individual or shared garden to plant and care for flowers, fruits and vegetables. For this week’s ecology homework, students have been asked to reflect upon and describe their own energy use and environmental footprint. They are also engaging in the scientific process with daily observations of local weather and a descriptive analysis of such observations. The students love ecology. Diego and Julian have planted beets. Faith, Ely and Sebastian are growing watermelon sprouts. Our first chard plants have sprouted! We are sewing seeds of change!
Dear Sierra School Super Supporters,
We have arrived to Mexico and we are busy! Our sincere apologies for not sending news sooner. Saying goodbye to family and many dear friends in France as well as packing up for a long-term, overseas move kept us more than busy through mid-August. With truly generous help from friends and family preparing our move (mille fois merci à tous nos proches!), we arrived to Todos Santos on Friday, 21st August after 35 hours of travel. Mexico City was so polluted we couldn’t even see the sky! Baja, however, was stunningly green, rain washed, humid with gentle sea breezes. It felt great to arrive to our new home!
We went up to visit the San Ignacio neighborhood school site the day after our arrival. The property we will will caretake had not been occupied for several weeks. The site was strewn with trash, vandalized and needed a full inventory of cleanup, repairs, a constant caretaker and lots of TLC. Thanks to frequent summer rains this year, the landscaped school garden was beautifully green.
We found a little black cat living on the property. We’ve been feeding hungry Shadow who needs a home!
In our first week here in Todos Santos, we focused on cleaning up the site. Our school community effort was remarkable: Jason and Tammie Jacobs, Faith, Sunny and Stryder came to help Fabrice, Roman and I. In addition, Zephyr and Gregorio Calisto Flores and their children, Aliya and Emma came to join us for schoolroom clean-up and garden work. Cheri and Bob Streimikes came to help us repair broken doors and paint the Sierra School of Todos Santos sign. Every weekday between 10:30 and one o’clock Fabrice and I go up to work at the school site cleaning, gardening and meeting with local contractors to advance with repairs and construction. Before going to school, we work on paperwork and class preparation.
Carefully cleaning up the site, we filled up a truck tractor trailer full of trash! Thank you, Jason, for offering us use of your truck trailer and convincing the Los Cabos garbage dump to accept our trash for free. (Local garbagemen are on strike as the administrative capital, La Paz, is bankrupt and union workers having been clocking the hours unpaid. Everyone in Todos Santos hopes the uncollected trash situation will be resolved soon and hard municipal workers will get their salaries due.) For additional school prep, Fabrice and I met with our accountant-legal-immigration counsel in La Paz and made progress on our Mexican non-profit paperwork. Another immense pleasure was meeting Nancy Naigle, Todos Santos resident and director of the Friends of the Hogar del Niño, a local foster home / orphanage of two of our students, Rebeca and Julian. Visiting the Hogar del Niño with Nancy in a sudden tropical down was deeply moving. What a joy and privilege to meet the directors, Joel and Alicia Fernandez and their huge “family” of gentle, affectionate, smiling children. With over twenty children’s beds, bedrooms for little girls, for big girls and bedrooms for small and big boys, a big kitchen, a panaderia, a dining room, a wood shop, a chicken coop and a church under construction, a palapa sitting room, and husky dogs, it felt like a safe and caring environment. I felt overcome by huge wave of emotion and affection. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Julian and Rebeca: two beautiful and very motivated Mexican students.
In our second week preparing for school, we bought high-speed, indoor-outdoor ceiling fans and had them installed in the two classrooms and kitchen-dining building. Muchisimas Gracias, Chevo! We had plumbing repairs made, and we collected estimates for significant building repairs: fissured cement floors to be replaced, classroom walls to be repaired from water damage, and a secure, waterproof storage area--bodega with metal doors--to be constructed in one of the classrooms. Building reparations have begun, thanks again to Chevo, a skilled local mason / electrician / plumber. Cheri and Bob Streimikes are leading our effort to make wooden seminar tables. Organically fertilized dirt--from Kaia Thompson’s Todos Caballos ranch--has been trucked in to enrich the soil for our school’s organic vegetable and flower garden. We head up to La Paz the day after tomorrow to purchase more school supplies and furniture as well as to pick up our DHL school materials shipment from France.
We are indeed hard at work getting ready for our first day of school on 21 September 2015!
Students and teachers edited this blog since January of 2018.