Saturday, January 14, 2012

Well I've made it to the first weekend and lucky for me I get the weekend off! It has been an interesting week. Not stressful, but definately exhausting! One thing I didn't think of before is how much the grade 1's watch the grade 2's and 'model' their behaviour. So with no grade 2's in my classroom this year it's just me telling the kids over and over how they should behave. I think some of the rules are beginning to sink in; we'll see if they have forgotten them all on Monday or not. My biggest challenge is keeping their attention. They seem to have extremely short attention spans and are VERY easily distracted! We're trying a more 'hands on' approach to teaching this year (more manipulatives and centers and less book work) which I think will be very good for this particular class especially as the majority is boys. Of course this also means I need to be on top of my planning and organizing. I'm working on that...
Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 begins

Well I made it back to Sakeji. I have decided I am never again going to do the back to back flights if I can help it! I managed to survive the 7 or so hour layover in LHR airport through drinking large amounts of caffeine, shopping and an amazing masage. The flight to Lusaka was far too long having had no sleep the previous night and of course being hopped up on caffeine. I did however, manage to snooze on the 3 hr flight to Sakeji.

Since arriving back we've had 2 staff meetings (one was just for the teaching staff), and I've had to re-arrange and set up my classroom. I have yet to look at the curriculm, other then labeling all the kids books of course.

I currently have 11 new students coming which I'm pretty excited about. This year we have separated the 2 classes, so now I just teach Grade 1 (for the most part). I will tag-team-teaching Science/Social Studies with the Grade 2 & 3 teachers as we're combining all 3 grades for those classes.

We have 3 new staff this term. Sarah Peat and Sam Morphat are just part time and Hannah Garcia is part time with the possibility of becoming full time. They seems like great people and are pretty excited to meet the kids and start teaching. Hannah will be working down in Lower school with Mark Ronald and myself (Grades 1-3). Sarah and Sam will be working in Upper school (grades 4-9) with Janette Young, Lina Burklin and Phil Towse.

It looks to be a pretty promising year. I can't wait to get started... except the planning and marking of course. :) Please pray for the students and their families as they arrive over the next two days by car and plane. Being the rainy season the roads are starting to get pretty mucky again.

One other item for prayer before I sign off and go to bed is for my work visa which expires at the beginning of February. Originally I was planning to just renew it for another 2 years. With the new government in place however, things are getting more complicated. Right now it looks like it would be $100 cheaper to get a new Visa than to renew. Of course either way, the price has nearly doubled! Please pray that things will work out smoothly without too many issues. This does not just apply for myself, their are several missionaries here in Zambia in the same situation.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What thrills your soul?

As we were singing the hymn "All That Thrills My Soul" this morning in church I started to think about what I was singing... "All that thrills my soul is Jesus; He is more that life to me; and the fairest of ten thousand, in my blessed Lord I see". Can I sing that and honestly mean it? Thought provoking isn't it. The one verse that caught my attention was "Every need His hand supplying, every good in Him I see; on His strength divine relying, He is all in all to me." Something I have learned in the past few years is that God does supply all my needs and I do rely on His strength to get me through each day, particulariy the difficult ones. It disturbs me to say I don't think I can honestly say "He is all in all to me". I have spent the past month enjoying time with my family and shopping for things to take back with me next year. During the past month how much time have I spent thinking about God and thanking Him for my wonderful family and the means to buy the things I need/want. Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, the reason I am who I am and the reason I am at Sakeji School. This year (and I hope eternally)I am going to strive to live my life so that I can sing/say "All that thrills my soul is Jesus" and mean it with all my heart!