Tuesday, January 18, 2011

so much to do... so little energy!

(written yesterday)

I am still amazed at how quickly children zap all your energy from you! It's not fair really because they're aready have SO much; do they really need to expend ours as well? Currently enjoying the 15 mins of quiet time (known as prayers) but am starting to cringe as the clock ticks closer to the supper hour as the silence will be broken once again.
It has been most interesting and as i mentioned already, draining getting to know these little students of mine. today 8 of 10 of my grade ones now know their short vowel sounds. we'll see how many of them remember them tomorrow as we move on to the consonants. there's the bell for supper back in a bit...

Rachel has been a big help! She has agreed to teach the grade 2's math; which makes it easier for me to teach the grade ones (less distractions with the other class in another room). Hopefully we'll be able to do the same thing for language/phonics as well. Last year I was stressing at having 2 students that were so far behind in reading; this year it's the norm for grade one and I have a grade 2 that is still learning her sounds. Right now my prayer for each day is for strength and lots of patience to get through the day. I think things will get easier as we go along as the students will learn what is expected of them, also those who aren't fluent in English will pick it up from the constant exposure.

My problem student from last year, who was sent home after the first term, is back. So far she has behaved herself. Although I had to speak to her a few times today, she is doing significantly better then last year in both her attitude and academics. Praise the Lord!

Well, I think I am going to go home, have a nice cup of tea, put my feet up and lose myself in a good book. :D

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And they're back!

Yes, the kids have now arrived back to school. Since arriving myself it's been crazy trying to get my house and classroom in order before they came. THankfully I had some help and all seems to be in place. Today was officially the first day of school, but I don't start my classes till tomorrow. I forgot how intense the first day is! Trying to learn all the names (especially the Zambian ones) trying to overcome the cultural & language barriers. I think some of my students had no clue what was going on today as they didn't seem to understand myself or Rachel. Rachel is from Glasgow and has the accent to go with it, so I think the younger ones who are already struggling with English are having trouble with her "Scottish".

This is the first time I've ever taught with a TA in the room (Rachel) so it will be rather interesting. I'll have both grades (19 children) at the same time for all subjects, which just might be more then I can handle, which is why Rachel is helping out. She was a little unsure of teaching on her own this term, so she'll just be assisting, but I'll take whatever help I can get. I know teachers teach multi-grades all the time, but I find it's slightly different in Zambia then back home. Grade one is often like teaching several grades as they come in with various levels of teaching (or none at all). At least 2/3's of my Grade 1 (and one grade 2)students don't know their alphabet sounds. So we'll be using basic phonics with them; whereas the rest of them can read short words. I haven't really seen the math "skills" yet, but hopefully the gap isn't as wide!

well, it's getting late and i have an early morning tomorrow starting with teaching children how to eat breakfast properly. (no joke)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Has Arrived!

Arrived at Sakeji today around noon (i think). Yesterday was such a mess of airports and canelled and delayed flights that I don't want to even think about it anymore! I finally got to Heathrow collected my stored bags without any hassel and checked them in to the next flight. I had a bit of time to wander some of the shops and pick up some duty free chocolates to share with the staff (and maybe good children) here. The flight to Lusaka was much better then last years! I didn't have an annoying seatmate unfortunately Rachel wasn't able to book beside me either. As per the norm, I didn't get any sleep, although I sort of dozed from time to time; so the flight seemed really long. I had forgotten that there is currently a 2 hour time difference between the UK and Zambia (no daylight savings time in Zambia) so we arrived at 4:30am UK time. thankfully there were no problems at the customs, although Zambia someone got some new technology (toys) in the last 4 months b/c we had to have our picture taken and fingerprints scanned. I didn't even know they had computers! of course BOTH the luggage carasels were broken which made collecting our bags long and tedious, but praise the Lord they were all there. (Mine, Rachel's, the Poidevins, & Baileys). Rachel and I had some time to kill in the Lusaka airport as the CMML plane we were supposed to be flying out on was still in the shop and the pilot had to go pick it up so we went to the lounge and got some cokes. Our flight to Sakeji seemed much longer then the 3 hours as I was tired and just wanted to get there! it was nice to see everyone waiting to greet us at the airstrip, hugs and introductions ensued. I went down to check out my new place (house all to myself this time:)) then went for some lunch at the Ronalds. After lunch I unpacked my bags and put away all my clothes, everything else is piled around the room until I have time to find a new home for it. After a few hours of rest (brain wouldn't let me sleep) I went to find Lina and Rachel as we were invited to the Hannah's for supper. We had a lovely supper (spicey taco soup and homemade bread with cream cheese!) and a nice chat afterwards. Now i'm completely exhausted and will be heading home to bed very shortly. Big day tomorrow with sorting out my classroom (although Janette was awesome enough to set it up for me) figuring out the classroom schedule and of course the teacher's meeting. Hopefully I'll get a lot accomplished!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On to the next leg of the journey...

This morning is sadly my last morning in Ireland. :( I'm currently sitting killing time (and Euros) at the airport kiosk. We got up early and jetted down to Dublin to be sure I made it in time for my flight only to find out (an hour after checking in bags and all) that my flight was cancelled. I went back to the desk and was told that the flight was cancelled due to bad weather, however he could place me on the next flight which will leave an hour later. I'm not sure where the "bad weather" is supposed to be, but here in Dublin the sun is actually shining and there are very few clouds to be seen in the sky. Of course as my bag had already gone through it caused a few problems as he had to make sure that my bag was transferred to the next flight as well. I have to say I won't be at all surprised to arrive and find my bag never made it, although I'll be rather upset if that does happen.
So my long wait in Heathrow is cut shorter, but it means a longer wait here in Dublin. I think Heathrow might be a bit better place to be stuck as it's larger, more to see etc. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to deal with it. Praying there are no problems with picking up my stored luggage in Heathrow and catching my connecting flight!
Next blog from Sakeji, Lord willing!