At the public library, of course I was fascinated by the collections of donated books and the activities that the children completed, but what stood out to me most was the passion for books expressed by the assistant librarian. When she recounted various books that she had read, you could see the light in her eyes. You could sense her thirst for more literature. I could only imagine what more she could do for herself and her community if she only had access to more resources. Here, although there are students who are voracious readers, most ELA teachers that I know have to beg their students to read. Administrators even offer prizes for those who meet their AR goal each quarter. And on the other side of the world, there is this deep appreciation for what many in the U.S. take for granted. While the assistant librarian was speaking, I started brainstorming activities that my students can participant in to become more globally aware and to find ways to look beyond the walls of their own circumstances to help others.
I gained a different level of appreciation today. Every time I've eaten with a group, the waiters have put all the orders on the same tab. Some were paying in Belize dollars while others paid in US dollars. It seemed that we spent more time trying to figure out how to properly convert our funds than actually ordering and eating. I remember at one point slowly handing the clerk a $5 US dollar while trying to see if that would cover the bill that was given to me in Belize dollars and cents. The clerk was very helpful. At that point I became even more empathetic towards immigrants in the US who get confused while trying to pay for groceries. Many times I've seen adults and children handing over their money, not knowing how to properly determine if they had enough or needed more. It's those times when you can feel vulnerable in another country; needing help, but hoping that no one is trying to take advantage of you. I believe now I will be a bit more attentive and be more assertive in helping others.
Learning something new each day,