Day 1 – Browning, MT 2023
3/13 – Michael
The start to our week was certainly an interesting one. After introducing ourselves to the students via a “magic show” that took advantage of the fact that we have twins in our group, we participated in the school assembly, which involved prayers unique to both the La Sallean brothers and the Blackfeet community and a pledge of allegiance to both the United States and the Blackfeet Nation. Moving over to the classrooms, I was almost immediately overpowered by the sheer chaotic energy exhibited by the seventh-grade class (it has been a long while since I was in middle-school). Rather than attempt to suppress this chaos, however, the teachers seemed to flow with it and leverage it, something I had never quite seen before.
While I didn’t feel able to directly help the kids today, I noticed that the presence of the immersion students seemed to motivate the kids to work harder. They strove to impress us almost more than they did their own teachers. In a sense, just by being there I am able to play my part. This is comforting and allows me to focus more on developing my relationships with the students here, learning from them about their world and allowing hem to learn about mine. I look forward to the rest of the week and am thankful that God has given me the opportunity to make a positive impact, however small it may be, on the lives of His children here in Browning.
3/13 – Isaac
Day one has been a learning curve. After deciding to participate in this immersion experience, I told myself not to have any expectations coming into the week. Despite my greatest efforts, is was difficult not to compare the learning experience of these students to my own from 7th grade. The classroom is run in a completely different way than I have ever experienced, which made me appreciate the immersion title of this program. I met a ton of new people today and am looking forward to fostering deeper and more meaningful relationships with the students here.
Just being here for one day, I have already witnessed the care that the students have for each other. Today was the day for their social studies presentation, and my class was working frantically to finish their posters before it was their individual times to present. There was a particular student who had barely started his poster, and 3 of his peers rallied to help him cut and glue the information on his board. In a buzzer beater effort, their collaboration enabled him to present on time and get full credit for his work. It was such a great witness to the community here and I was really happy to see them help each other. I’m excited to see what the rest of the week brings.