Tuesday, February 19, 2013

pictures included this time! :)

Tomorrow is already the 1/2 way point of the term! I've been enjoying my class this term; trying to relax my teaching style a bit. I've realized it really doesn't matter if we get every single page of their workbooks done, as long as the children learn the material. I'm still a little frustrated with some of the curriculum and have decided instead of complaining about it, I'm going to improve it! Jess Russell (my TA this term) has helped me tremendously as she is very artistic and I am not. She has drawn " animal characters" to go with the alphabet letters (eg. Annie Ant, Zack Zebra) and we're making them into handwriting/spelling pages. It's been rather fun actually! Of course I can say that as she has done most of the work. She is now working on putting together some phonics pictures for me (ie. when 2 vowels going walking...). I'm scanning them into my computer and hoping to get them printed into booklets for my kids to use next year. I'll also be making up copies for the kids to use at the orphange and (finances permitting) some for teacher I wrote about in my previous post. Some day (maybe on my next furlough) I'd like to make up a social studies curriculum merging the Canadian ideas with the Zambian content. The books we are currently using are Zambian, but there just isn't enough in them to last for the whole year so I'm have to do a lot of supplemental work anyways. Other fun news... tomorrow is birthday party. The theme is "the WILD WEST". My students have been learning to do a square dance in music class and I got to see it for the first time today when they did a dress rehearsal. SO cute! I got little "cowboy hats" for the boys to wear and big bows for the girls to wear. i don't think i can post a video here but i got some pics of them posing. (i'll try and put the video on facebook if you have access to that). It should be a fun day tomorrow. :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

give thanks in everything!

It’s raining! I don’t usually get excited about the rain, in fact I’m usually kinda annoyed, but as we’ve had very little rain of late it’s good to see the ground get a good soaking. Of course this means a cold shower tonight, but I think I’ll live. I was reminded yesterday that I need to be thankful in everything! I find I often whine about what I don’t have or how what I do have is not good enough etc. Yesterday 5 teachers from a local Zambian school came to Sakeji to observe our teaching practices etc. Sort of like a professional development day for them. I was not looking forward to their coming at all as any disruption to the class can be rather annoying. At lunch time of the teachers was assigned to my table, which is always awkward as I’m shy and never know what to talk about, but I need not have worried as she was not at all shy and had tons of questions for me about teaching grade ones. During the conversation I found out she teaches 30 grade one students (ages 5-6) all by herself (no T.A’s or extra assistance). On top of that the school she teaches at doesn’t have a set curriculum and has very little resources. (I’m slow so it took me awhile to pick up on that one). It definitely made me feel very guilty for all the whining I do about the curriculum we have that I don’t like. At least we have it! I don’t know how she teaches without losing her sanity! I finally took her down to my classroom to look at the books etc. She was blown away; not by the mess or anything wonderful I had done, but by the size of the room (for just 11 students) and the bulletin boards etc. I soon found myself grabbing a spare box and filling it full of extra stuff (flash cards, old reading books we haven’t used in years, photocopyable books I was sent but never find the time to use etc) she was nearly in tears she was so excited. It was very humbling! God continually needs to remind me about how much I actually have compared to those around us here; maybe one day I’ll actually learn this lesson and stop whining!