Today we were able to visit two elementary schools, Scoil Phádraig Naofa and Gaelscoil Mhainistir an Corann. Scoil Phádraig Naofa is a new school that will eventually have junior infants to sixth class. This is the school Sinéad teaches at. Right now, fourth class is the highest class that they have, but it will grow with the oldest class. We were able to teach our cowboy lesson to this class, and we created cowboy boots with them! They were super excited as well as appreciative. I was excited when at the end of the lesson the teacher was asking Yasi and I questions because she wanted to extend the lesson! This school taught in English with the exception of their Irish lesson each day. Their classroom layout was very similar to that of an American classroom. One thing I have noticed about each school we have visited is that their is a bathroom in each classroom. This is AMAZING! This allows the teacher to always have an eye on the students and eliminates the occasional bathroom drama/dilemma that comes up! Once again I noticed that this school only had blacktop for their playground. The teaching styles here were very similar to that of the other schools we had visited. The child was still their main focus and concern. They also were still very blunt withy their behavior management. I noticed similar behavior management techniques to those we use at home such as “one two eyes on me, one two eyes on you” and the clap sequences. The students had many questions to ask us, and were very excited to hear about America! As we left the school by bus, two sweet little girls stood outside and waved the Irish and American flags.
Our next school was Gaelscoil Mjainistir an Corann. This is the school last years graduate assistant, Aisling, works at. This school was quite different from all the other schools we had been to because it is a totally Irish speaking school. It was very interesting hearing all directions given in Irish and just hearing the Irish language in general. Again, Yasi and I were able to teach our cowboy lesson to first class. They loved our story, and also were very excited to share with us what they already knew about cowboys. This class was also able to make our cowboy boot craft. This classroom was laid out in a similar format. The main difference about the classrooms at this schools is that they are “portables.” They are units of buildings out together that are not permanent. The school is on the list to have a real school built for them within the next few years!as if it wasn’t exciting enough hearing the students speak in Irish, Aisling arranged for the choir to also sing to us in Irish. It was phenomenal! These kids are full of so much talent!
After leaving the school, we went to the Jameson Distillery . This was an incredibly interesting tour. We were able to see how Irish whiskey stands out from the rest. Irish whiskey is distilled three times, while Scottish whiskey is usually only distilled twice. We also learned that the barrel the whiskey ferments in has a lot to do with its taste. The U.S. has a policy that whiskey must ferment in a clean barrel, where as Ireland’s policy is that one barrel can be reused up to three different times. All of this effects the end result of how the whiskey tastes. Whiskey ferments for no less than four years. The longer it ferments, the higher the price!
We the went to the Titanic Experience. This was amazing! The port in Cóbh Town, Ireland was the last place passengers could board the Titanic. 123 passengers boarded the ship from this port! When we entered the exhibit, we were given a boarding pass with a name of someone who boarded the Titanic from Cóbh. After experiencing everything the passengers went through, and seeing the actual dock they walked across, we were able to see if our passenger survived or was tragically lost. Unfortunately, my passenger board the Titanic with her love and neither survived. This was an amazing experience! It was somewhat eerie knowing that these people actually boarded the Titanic from the dock we could see just feet from us!
Tomorrow we are going to another school, and then we are scheduled to have dinner at Aisling’s house!