Category Archives: Teaching

Feedback from students

I have really disliked evaluations.

In my first career they were done once a year, and I usually fared just fine in them.

Consider this example from February 2011, my last few months on the job.  I scored lowest as “satisfactory” for my reliability.  In every other category of work I scored “very good” with comments like this.

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And at the best I was ranked as outstanding with this comment…

diplomacy

Certainly the introspective me would have issues with being told I’m “outstanding” with dealing with other people.  After all, I felt like punching the guy in the throat that butted in front of me to board a plane a day ago.

But let’s ramp it up.  Let’s turn it to 11.

Now all students evaluate me, as a teacher, twice a year.  This is enough to make me imagine my 9th grade CAD drawing teacher’s handlebar moustache twitch uncontrollably.  But I feel like I’m in comfortable company.  After six months on the job above I asked all my employees to evaluate me.  I met with the employee that gave me the worst marks to see where she was coming from.

I remember like it was yesterday.  Athena was a lifeguard and gave me some poor marks.  In the comments she said I would never be as good a supervisor as my predecessor.  She told me how the lady that worked the job for just six months before quitting had been at every early morning water aerobics class to greet participants.  How she had also attended the evening gymnastics classes and chatted with parents.

I was dismayed.  I couldn’t be at the pool at 6:30 in the morning and the gym at 6 in the evening and retain any semblance of the marriage that would later self destruct without even needing to have 12 + hour workdays.

Here are some of the statistically relevant results from my student feedback…

Here is a baseline.  Plenty of strongly agree and agree with a few does not apply.

baseline

To this I compared many of my results.  I assume that students will rate me as either Agree or Strongly Agree with a few Does Not Apply.  As a PE teacher, the generic nature of the questions is that they don’t favor subjects like mine.  Questions where more than one person deviated from this (more than one person disagreed or strongly disagreed) are below.

Before listing them I feel it is important to realize that this semester I am teaching two sections of Health, a PE1 for grade 9 students, Racquet and Batting Sports, and Adventure Activities.

  • I am encouraged to continually improve, revise or refine my work.

I agree that it seems that there may not be opportunities to revise work.  In most of my classes there isn’t much for opportunities to re-do a performance based assessment.   I’m thinking of how to go about this practically.

  • I use a variety of materials and resources (e.g. books, simulations, digital media, computer, internet, word processing, spreadsheet) for my learning.

This is entirely applicable (and I feel I do it well) in my Health classes.  But most of the other classes use these infrequently if ever.  I don’t foresee this changing across all of my classes but some it might be beneficial to use a variety more often.

  • I receive helpful feedback (written and verbal) from my teacher about my performance in this class.

I agree that providing better feedback would be a good improvement for my teaching.  I’ve already made efforts to do so verbally or on assignments.

  • In this class I have challenged myself to learn as much as I can.

I provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves.  Some do not pursue the challenge.  Can I do something to improve the adoption of harder work?

  • I feel good about what I am learning in this class.

This one hurt.  Though only a few students marked that they disagree, I still like to think that everyone is enjoying what they learn.  I know there are some students that just don’t like PE so it could be that factor, or it could be students that are resentful that they have to take a health elective instead of PE.

  • I am taught to organize ideas, information and experiences, and to apply them creatively.

Again, this seems one that might apply most to the health class and not so much to the more traditional PE classes.  That said, I don’t teach those things even in health.

  • My teacher helps me try to be successful in this class.

I’m most concerned by this one.  Even just having two of my students say that I don’t try to help them be successful means I’m missing an opportunity.  I will do a better job of reaching out to all students to seek their success.

  • My teacher challenges me appropriately and motivates me to do my best work.

I feel like I don’t challenge the higher performing students — especially in the more physically active classes.  If I have a student that was on the SAISA Badminton team in my Racquet and Batting Sports class then they will definitely be under-challenged in some of the units.

  • My teacher uses Moodle consistently to post assignments and help support my learning.

Guilty as charged.  Over the past year, Holly and I have been experimenting with the use of Google Classroom.  I’ll write a separate blog post about that.

  • My teacher keeps up with the Skyward gradebook so that I feel informed on my assignments and grades.

I’m also guilty of this.  Since receiving the feedback I have made a greater effort to be more timely with my grade book.  I also have started to put in the formative assessments with a simple check mark to indicate if students have completed the work.  I need to figure out a good way to make this a habit — perhaps using time in the morning of each day to make sure my grade book is up to date.

  • My teacher uses a variety of digital tools and resources to help me learn.

Yeah, I don’t use enough in my PE classes.  I’ll say it again (I did during my interview for the job).  Sometimes I feel like part of my job should be getting kids to disconnect from technology and interact with each other face to face.

I will try and sit down and collect the data from this and my previous student feedback to be able to see if there is any trend in the direction of my feedback.  I feel like I have been improving as a teacher.  I hope the data shows that.

Finally, I find extreme value in the things that students actually take the time to write.  Here are some of those comments.

Describe ways that your teacher could help you more with your learning.

Come up a with a clear grading curriculum so students can know what they must do to get the best out of class.

I don’t think that using Google Classroom is helpful for us, as students. This is because we have to be organized in two different platforms, and that just increases confusion for us when we’re doing homework.

he could move faster because sometimes he talks about one thing for 20 mins which gets boring maybe not go into detail as we get the idea

What does your teacher do that helps you to learn best?

I think he really takes the time to teach every little thing there is to teach about the subject. I think that he teaches by doing and I believe that is the only way a teacher should teach, so I like that.

He makes the classes fun and very interactive with a lot of hands on activities which is engaging and helps me learn.

In everything we learn, he never fails to relate it to how we can use it in the future. He is incredibly understanding and kind to everybody. He empathizes with students and always makes sure we are comfortable in class. His teaching methods are extremely effective and he makes the class super fun and awesome. I LOVE THIS CLASS

Please add any other comments that would help your teacher provide better learning experiences for you.

You are and have been my favorite teacher in this school since 9th grade keep up the good work. I truly look up to you and respect/appreciate the person you are. Don’t change and let anyone tell you different!

On dental care and sexual abuse

Jacob had his very first sleepover a few weeks ago.  There were two Korean boys that came over.  I promised to let them stay up late.  When 10:30 rolled around, I got them off to brushing their teeth.  I think it took them 15 minutes even though they brushed for less than two.  They spent a lot of time getting this ready, rinsing their mouths, getting cups, asking about the water… Right afterward, one of the kids said “I think I need to take  a bath.”  Without a thought I shot out “No.”

After almost another hour of battling with kids to get them to bed or to stop getting out of bed, I was asleep.  In the morning I took a shower and wondered about waking them up early enough for them all to take showers.  That’s when the barrage of news stories of teachers accused of abusing children hit my consciousness.

Pepper was in Malaysia for a MUN conference.  I was the only adult in the house.  Having a couple of someone else’s 9 year olds naked in the house is not the right start to any news story.

I have a take on this that I have begun to articulate over the past few years.  As my news feed has been populated by instances of female teachers having sexual relationships with male students and male coaches taking advantage of boys they coach, I have almost felt like it is about time that everyone adhere to the same standards that are expected of a male teacher and a female student.  I am very conscious of being sure that I’m not in the PE equipment room with one female student and nobody else.  But having a single male student in there doesn’t cause me to think the same way.

Because of my cereal habit in the 80s and 90s, I know that children of all ethnicities are  abducted.  The milk cartons had today’s equivalent of an amber alert posted on them.  But today it seems that the only children that are abducted according to the news are attractive white girls.  Perhaps that’s because an attractive white girl being abducted sells air time.  I’m pretty sure my mom bought milk because of the contents, not because of the ethnicity of the missing child on the packaging.  Sure selling milk with free PSAs on the packaging is different than selling advertising on TV.  So I wonder if the news feeds I have that seem to cover things like the former Speaker of the House’s abuse of athletes that he coached or when a young female teacher has a sexual relationship with a student generates more viewers and thus better ad sales.  Because there seems to be a lack of stories (by comparison) of male teachers abusing female students.

Ultimately I never want any students abused (that includes mutually consensual relationships) but the problem is that predators are attracted to careers like teaching youth.  I think of this often as the coordinator of programs that put students and teachers in settings that abusers would find advantageous.

Plenty of schools have entirely ended programs to eliminate the opportunity for predators to act.  I hope to figure out ways to prevent that from being the best option.

Reflecting on reflections

I’m beginning to think that we’re doing too many reflections.  Not me, as an adult, reflecting on my work, but we as educators asking students to constantly reflect. As educators we seem to want our students to reflect on every experience.  Is that going to be bad at some point?

We’ve replaced doing “community service” with “service learning” which I was hesitant to buy into at first.  Ultimately it makes a lot of sense.  Service should be done so that it is mutually beneficial — not just so that the person contributing service feels good about themselves.  This is a bit of a deviation from my scouting practice where things like “do a good turn daily” and “For he who serves his fellows, is of all his fellows, greatest” were mantras I followed.

Time to turn on the humblebrag.  I was awarded the Order of the Arrow’s (a service organization within the boy scouts) Founder’s Award which is for unselfish service above and beyond their normal duties.  Then was given the national Distinguished Service Award also for the Order of the Arrow.  Both were awarded based on things I did before I was 21.  If I had to fill out a form showing 10 hours of community service as a high school graduation requirement I could probably have completed the form for every month and not just every year.    I confess to having scoffed at student lists of service activities on their National Honor Society applications.  I did all that without sitting down and writing down reflections.  I learned plenty.  I became compassionate and hard working.  I served for the sake of service.

So when I see a proposal for a Discover India trip that has multiple written reflection sessions in the same day I have a bit of a revulsion reaction.  When I look at the plan we made for our school Discovery groups and it seems like we’ve created a twice-a-month writing group I have regrets.  When I hear students balk at the word “reflect” it makes me want to reflect more on this whole idea of reflection.

We have students writing blog posts to reflect on their experiences in the Discovery program.  I don’t think that’s the right tool for the job.  To understand why we should look at what a blog is.  The word “blog” is a shortened version of “web log” — that is, a public (or limited audience) online diary or journal.  If the audience is limited to the teacher, then publishing a blog post (not publishing a blog — a blog contains posts) isn’t the right platform.  Just write it on a document to then share with the teacher.  I think that in some situations a student would be much more reflective if it is perceived to be more private than public.  The nature of blogs is that they seem public.  You press a “publish” button when done, a very public sounding word, not a button with a word that insinuates privacy.

I understand the value of reflection.   I want to prevent reflective overdose and think that formalizing some types of reflection could help.  Some things certainly deserve taking quality time for some private reflection.  Maybe there is a need for a better range of reflections.

Certainly just giving something a thumbs up or thumbs down is a process of reflection.  Sitting together and verbally debriefing an experience provides opportunity for reflection and collaboration.  Sometimes I feel like the reflection we’re asking kids to do is seeking the “right answer” for the activity.  There are certainly kids that get it.  And there will always be others that don’t get it until they hear someone else explain it — perhaps in a way that they understand.  So reflecting privately, while sometimes completely appropriate, might not be the best way to really got through to students.

Sorry.  Just reflecting.

Reflections on a half of a year of work

After a little encouragement, I opted to use blogging as a self reflection tool for my professional development assessment this year.

I have a lot to write about.

First, I feel like I need to acknowledge that I feel outclassed.  I have referred to myself as a new teacher.  This is only my 5th year as a full time teacher.  Sure, I’ve taught things for a long time but I didn’t go to school to become a teacher and despite my ever-present cynicism about the disconnect between higher education and the working world I’ll always feel sub-standard.  To further undermine my self-confidence, about two years ago someone at an all-faculty meeting pointed out the very high percentage of staff with advanced degrees at our school.  There is also the constantly present awareness that “it’s just PE” that I teach.  As much as I believe in the importance of health and long-term recreational activity I know that in a school that is clearly focused on college preparation that the content that I deliver isn’t as critical as core subjects.  I felt similar about my role as a Parks and Recreation Director where my peers were the Chief of Police, Fire Marshal, Public Works Director, Harbormaster… the services I provided, while important to many people, were not critical.

So then, and now, I make up for that self-perceived lack of necessity by committing myself to other organizational needs.

My first year at AISC, in addition to my “day job” I also coached three sports.  Last year I added a few committees.  This year I dropped down to two sports, but have added a large number of other roles ranging from easy occasional meetings of a group of people looking to improve the music at staff social functions, to being the Head of the PE Department.  Other pies I have my finger in include leading the Design Thinking Innovation Team and serving on the Head’s Round Table.

I know I am over-committed.  I know that every additional role I take on robs from my effectiveness in some other role — perhaps that as a husband or father, but often that of a good teacher.

Speaking of being a good teacher, this year we made huge changes to the PE course offerings.  Inherited was a course list that was PE9, PE10, Personal Fitness and Team and Individual Sports.  We eliminated PE10 and the team and individual sports classes and added semester-long classes that include Health (a graduation requirement), making separate personal fitness classes for each gender, Yoga and Flow Arts, Endurance Training, Racket and Batting Sports, and Adventure Activities.

Before, our PE9 and 10 classes were largely the same.  The prep for one was nearly identical.  Same location, same equipment, and often almost identical lessons.  Adding these electives has made for many more venue and equipment changes, entirely new lessons and a whole lot less shooting from the hip.

I have the luxury of teaching one less class than most of my peers to give me time to coordinate the Discover India program.  This year, for scheduling reasons, instead of one class less for the whole year I had two classes less during the first semester which was great since that’s when our Discover India trips happen.  But in the spring semester I’ve got a full course load of four different classes to prep for — three of them that I am teaching for the first time this semester.  Planning for the Discover India trips for next year all has to happen in the next few months too.

Making some of it easier is that Holly taught Health last semester so she has shared plenty of great material to work with, though I need to modify her materials because I want to use a lot more Adaptive Schools protocols in the classroom.

holly

It is great working with Holly.  We really work so well together.  In fact, our office is remarkably high functioning considering that there are 9 of us in there amidst the chaos of students coming in for band aids or borrowed PE uniforms.

I felt pretty positive about my classes and other commitments through December.  I know things can always be better.  I’m always trying to improve my teaching, grading, and practices and I’ll write more about those.

Reflections on Discover India 2015

One of the really neat things that I get to do as part of my job is to go on trips with students.  I often travel with student athletes for sports tournaments.  But the trip I returned from was different.  Once a year, the entire high school (students and faculty) go on our week without walls trips which we call Discover India.

My trip was 12 students from a mixture of genders and grades (9-11 — there were no seniors on my trip).  We ended up with four German students (one of whom is half Filipino), three Koreans, two French, two Americans and one Indian.  Our trip was the only (of the 16 that left Chennai) with three staff members (all American) and we had the three because there was supposed to be an early departure of one of the staff members.

Our trip involved hiking, biking and rafting along with a high ropes course.  Here is a video I made using footage from my GoPro.

As the coordinator of the program, I am quite critical of my trips.  I’ll focus my reflection here on the changes that were made to the program for this year and not the actual trip I was on.

One change was limiting groups (except the local trip) to 12 students with two staff members.  Previously groups were usually about 20 students — up to 24 — with up to three staff on each trip.  Faculty were asked in the post-trip survey how they felt about the group size and 89% responded that the group size was just right.

group size

I’d agree that the size was ideal.  Part of the reason for making this decision was because on my trip the previous year we had a number of students drop off because of an SAT test making our group about 12 students.  Both years I was amazed at how the barriers of gender, nationality and grade level broke down much quicker with the smaller group.

Perhaps the most significant change was shifting to an application procedure for student (and staff) assignment to trips and not doing a lottery.  This was a lot more work for me.  I read through every word of each student’s application to four different trips.  Some write just a few words.  Some wrote a few paragraphs.  And a few put together video applications!  Overall, despite the additional work I feel that this change was well worth it.  The informal feedback from operators and staff has been that the students were much better suited for the trips.  One example that I have is the 12 students from my trip all completed the entire high ropes course.  Two years ago on my first Discover India trip less than half of the 22 students on our group finished the same course.  Some of the students didn’t even attempt it.

Another change was that previously we allowed students to select another student to be paired with and I would guarantee them being placed on the trip with their friend.  That was changed, though I still asked if there was a student they would prefer to be placed on a trip with.  In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t asked.  There were a number of students that were resisting going on their trips because they were not in a group with their friends.  In the end I think only one didn’t go because of that concern.  In the future I won’t even ask.

More of the trips were geared toward service opportunities and creative exploration than in the past.  By reducing the number of students on each trip we had to add five trips and this allowed greater diversity in what was available.  For 2015, only 6% of students thought there wasn’t a good range of trips to choose from.  In 2014, that percentage was 16.7% (30 students).

variety

One other significant change is making it part of a larger Discovery program with year-round meetings.  I’ll have to write a separate post about my reflections on that part of the program.

Last, I have come up with a few new ideas for the future.  First, trips will be required to have separate sites for each group.  The campsite that my group used as our base camp was used by two other groups and the larger group was, overall, a distraction from what we could have accomplished as a 12 student group.  Second, some trips will be designated (from the very first advertisement) as technology-free.  Many students had cell phones and could get service so were calling other students, being distracted by social media, and isolating themselves because of their access to personal tech.  I want to have some trips with clear expectations that devices (or perhaps sim cards) will be set aside after planes land to encourage a more meaningful personal experience.

Teaching Sex Ed

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I have a great teaching partner.   Holly and I were born 10 years and a day apart.   We grew up maybe 40 miles from each other.   We met in India and are the High School PE department.  We sit three feet from each other and have such a similar philosophy to getting kids active and healthy that it seems impossible that one of us was an outgoing popular jock (her) and the other an introverted wall flower.   But we have found this incredible middle ground and it works.

This picture was taken after I came to work with 100 condoms (in the cute bag that Brooke gave me and Holly is holding) and we had the shared goal of teaching kids from around the world the importance of safety once sexually active.   Instead of the bananas we used relay batons.   Oh, to have heard students answer their parent’s question about what they learned in school that day!

Jacob went into the pharmacy with me when I bought the stack of condoms.

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He asked…  “Pa,  are you sick?”

I laughed.   I told him I wasn’t but was buying these so that kids learned how to not get sick and so that they didn’t have babies when they were too young.

The next day,  just before this photo was taken,  Jacob helped un-box and separate the condoms and put them in the bag.   He loves to help his dad.  At one point,  noting the picture on the boxes, he said that they were for girls so they didn’t have babies.   I chucked as I corrected him — they were actually for boys.   He said “Boys can’t have a baby!”

Oh son…  we will continue this conversation later.

Books my employer has gifted to us

One very minor but telling benefit of working for our school is that they have given us a few books for free.  The first two re even received in an express mail package mailed to us in Mongolia — the Lonely Planet guide to India and a book of the roads of Chennai.  We already had purchased the India guidebook.  Then on arrival we were given a few books for professional development.

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck which is an inspiring and motivating piece comparing fixed versus growth mindsets and how that impacts our performance as educators, athletes, employees and even parents.

The other was Fair Isn’t Always Equal by Rick Wormelli which the high school used to help drive the discussion to develop an assessment policy for grades 9 through 12.  We read through it chapter by chapter through last year and then had candid conversations of how we as educators felt about our grading and assessment practices.

I have to say, our school’s propensity to support staff with best practices, ample tools and resources and a clear desire to move ahead in the best interest of the students is truly reassuring that we made a good choice in coming to Chennai.

Using LEGO manipulatives for teaching base ten math

This isn’t a new idea — there are a number of good online resources for using LEGO bricks for teaching base 10 math skills.  But a few months ago, before I found those resources, I had the idea of using the number of dots on plate pieces to show 1, 10 and 100 to Jacob.  LEG) is pretty much built on a base 2×4 format so I thought plates would be best  to keep the size down.   Thankfully, I have a substantial number of LEGO and it was easy to create the manipulatives.

LEGO manipulatives base 10

I can’t wait to use LEGO to teach fractions!

 

 

Discovering India

I’m not just a high school PE teacher.  I also serve as the coordinator for the school’s Discover India program.  This is the school’s week-without-walls experience where all high school students (there are also middle school trips but I’m not charged with them) go on one of over a dozen week-long experiences throughout India.  Last year we had trips that rode on and slept in camel-pulled carts, rafting and kayaking trips on the Ganges river, diving experiences off the Andaman Islands, biking the Himalayan foothills… In short, a great collection of trips that celebrate the diversity of the country.

I went on “The Utimate Atali Experience” which I picked because it had climbing, ropes course, and rafting.  Three teachers and 18 students flew to Dehli and then on to Dehradun.  Then we took a two hour bus ride to Rishikesh and on to the hotel we’d stay in.  It turns out that we stayed in one of Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 50 Best New Hotels In The World 2013.  When we arrived at the hotel they had hot tea made from a local flower.  We all had a bit of a hike up to our rooms from the “lobby” but the facility was incredible.

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Of course, we were not there just to hang out at a hotel.  We worked with Aquaterra to provide us with the adventure components of the trip.  We had a couple of days of rafting on the Ganges River.  One of the days they let us hop out of the boats and float in the water through some low class rapids.  we had to hold on to the rope around the edge of the raft and while I was rolling from my back to my  front in the water and slipping my fingers from the rope I felt and watched as my titanium wedding band popped off of my finger, floated in air like a slow motion scene from a movie, and disappeared into the murky, frothy waters of the Ganges River.

Pepper was amused when she found out.

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We also spent time on a hike and an afternoon helping repaint a local school.

This Sunday, Jordan and I depart for our trip for this year.  We’ll spend three full days rafting the Mahakali River expedition style.  The Mahakali is a river that borders India and Nepal.  Our travel just to the put-in is a flight to New Delhi, an overnight train, then a six hour bus ride into the mountains.

I can’t wait to get on our way for the trip.  Aside from Jordan there are another dozen great students and a coworker that I look forward to getting to know better, discovering India, and finding a little more out about ourselves.

International teaching lifestyle: cleaners and drivers

In the US, I never considered having a person clean my home.  I also owned my vehicle and drove myself where I needed to go.

When Pepper lived in China she had a woman that came to her house daily.  The term used in Mandarin is ayi and her name was Naya.  She did dishes and laundry.  She cleaned the house.  She would even shop occasionally or cook.  I remember Pepper leaving a note with some money one day asking her to make Pepper’s salsa recipe.   Pepper’s ayi would be at the bus stop to pick up Jordan after school and make him dumplings as a snack.  When I visited, she even stayed late one night.  She cooked and cleaned for a party Pepper had.  During times I was there and Pepper had to work, I might wake up to the smell of fried dumplings being made for me.  I believe Pepper paid less than $450 a month for Naya’s services.  Naya and her husband benefited beyond the income.  Sometimes he would come to help her and they showered at the place sometimes.  With just Pepper and Jordan, there usually wasn’t much of a mess made of the house.  It was easy for Naya to keep up witht the laundry and dishes.  Pepper only had to keep things tidy on the weekend leaving her time for grading papers, relaxation, or spending time with Jordan (or on Skype with me!) instead of dealing with life’s mundane tasks.

When we moved to Mongolia, one of the first things we had to do was figure out how to get from our home to the school and back.  The public bus was an option, however it still meant walking to the bus stop and then walking from the stop to our house – which was still over a kilometer away.  It was inexpensive but often crowded.  We rarely had seats, and had to worry about pickpockets – although we never were victimized.  The school’s bus got no closer to our place and we would have had to pay for Jordan riding it.  After a few months, we found our current driver.  He’s incredibly reliable, very patient, and a nice guy.  We pay him about $170 a month just to get us to school and back home.  We also pay him for the occasional weekend trip out of town or to go within the city (maybe an additional $30) for probably a total of around $200 a month for getting around town.  I sure couldn’t own a vehicle for less than that.  Driving in Ulaanbaatar would be extremely stressful – paying $200 is quite welcome compared to the anxiety of driving here.  Sometimes Enkhe isn’t available and we have to find another driver or taxi to get home.  It isn’t too often and really isn’t that much of a hassle though.

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Enkhe admires vintage cars doing the Peking to Paris rally.

We have a cleaner that comes to our apartment once a week.  For just over $20, she cleans the house, vacuums, does dishes or laundry and usually tidies up something like the fridge or cupboards.  It is a luxury that I would probably have found the money to have done if that’s all it would have cost me in Alaska.  Essentially, for the last two years we have not had to clean the bathroom, vacuum, dust or mop.

For India, we already have people lined up to get us around and keep our house clean.  They already work for the person that is at the house now.  Unfortunately, the driver does not have a vehicle so we’ll be buying one.  We’ll also have to pay him a bit more than we pay our current driver.  However, he’ll always be our driver.  We’ll never need to find a different ride.  He’ll also serve as on-site security at the house.  He lives in a small building behind the main house.  He’ll also act as a gardener, fix-it man, and even go running out for errands or shopping.  We’ll even have a guide to the city and translator on hand at all times.

The cleaning lady will cost us twice what we pay now.  However, she’ll come six times a week for four hours.  She’ll clean the house as we have done now but also will cook our dinners.  For about $160 a month!