A Day in the Life

While this is my first year teaching language arts, it is my fourth year at the American School of Guatemala (ASG). ASG is a bicultural, bilingual school serving mostly Guatemalan families, along with a small percentage of international families. I moved to Guatemala to work with a faith-based nongovernmental organization (NGO). After three years of serving the poorest communities in Guatemala City, I transitioned to the classroom and now serve one of the wealthiest communities in Guatemala. While the dichotomy between rich and poor here is unfathomable, my husband, Joel, and I both believe that the social and spiritual renewal of Guatemala is possible; I pursue that renewal through education, while Joel pursues it through theological training and community development.

Because I view my students and the school community as my ministry, my day starts in prayer. I pray for my students, that I may point them toward Jesus with my words and actions. The power of prayer provides the grace and courage to cultivate relationships and handle difficult classroom dynamics. This prayer time is priceless for me.

Once I arrive at school, cup of Guatemalan coffee in hand, I make my way to my classroom which faces the middle school basketball courts. Students congregate in and around my room until it’s time to head to advisory. My typical day involves advisory, teaching language arts, teaching life skills enrichment, meeting with the other grade-level coordinators, and meeting with my eighth grade teaching team. Our schedule provides ample time for collaboration and for addressing student needs. This schedule helps us work together to serve our students well.

Some days are atypical, though, especially the annual service-learning carnival day. Each grade level partners with local NGOs, learns about specific needs in Guatemala, works with the NGO to design a service experience for its clientele, and hosts a fundraiser for them. Service learning is an integral part of our middle school curriculum as it connects students with the reality of their own country, a reality they are often sheltered from due to security issues and violence. [This is only part of the article. Want to read more? Subscribe to the website by choosing "Register" from the menu above. It's free!]

Annette Aguilar teaches eighth grade language arts at the American School of Guatemala (ASG) in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She is a graduate of Trinity Christian College.

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