One of the ways that I've devised to get the school kids curious enough to come up and talk to me has been to sit around the school yard during recess (which is twice a day) and just draw things around me. It worked like a charm, because they couldn't resist leaving me alone for more than two minutes at a time before they came in teams to check up on what I was doing, see my drawing, and ask me questions.
While I'm sure it's fun for them to see what the new teacher is up to, it's been exceptionally rewarding for me to begin making bonds with the kiddos before I've even had a chance to spend time with them in the classroom. Tomorrow is my first day actually teaching, even though I've been at the school for a week, and I'm feeling more confident by the day that the students will be receptive to my lessons now that they know more about me just by hanging out during their breaks.
These three quickie sketches are what I worked on last week. One is of a tulip, of which there are many in the back yard that are maintained by the principal himself. He does a great deal of gardening and takes a lot of pride into keeping the school looking beautiful.
The second drawing is of a tree, and the third is a more boring, not so impressive sketch of one of the basketball hoops. The first two drawings were done up closer to the school building and around where a lot of girls play in the sidelines. I picked the basketball hoop area for the third drawing in order to try and bring in some of the boys. It worked. Even though I think the drawing sucks, the kids totally eat it up and this week, they've even begun making requests when they see me with my drawing pad out just so they can watch me draw something they like.
As a result of piquing their curiosity and breaking the ice with my drawings, the kids are talking to me much more, and plenty in English. I've even graduated to being challenged or invited to games with them, so I'm pleased with that. I'll post again this week with more of my sketches.