Teaching in Zambia: Weeks Two and Three

June 27, 2016

Today, school was a little challenging; it seems that the “Monday Blues” are a universal thing because my normally sweet and well behaved students were anything but that. It was the first time I had to get stern with them which was a weird feeling. I left school feeling a little disheartened but with hope that tomorrow would be better.

After school some of the volunteers headed to a local orphanage where some of the local community goes on Monday nights for a feeding program for families with children that don’t usually know where their next meal is coming from. We fed children of all ages, there were babies and toddlers as well as their older siblings who were helping take care of them.

After we left the orphanage we went into town for dinner because it was Kaila’s, one of the volunteers, birthday. We ended up taking five boys that live near our volunteer house with us and a couple of the volunteers pitched in to pay for their dinner. They were such sweet boys and they were so appreciative, it was a really great way to end such a busy day.

June 28, 2016

Today I went to class ready to start fresh after our behavior issues from yesterday. I decided I would make it my goal to instill in my students how to behave properly in a classroom setting so that teachers after me might have an easier time actually teaching their lessons. I decided it was important to teach them how to focus so that they could actually learn something in school. A big problem that I have noticed is that regardless of whether the students are grasping the concept of what they are being taught, the school tends to just move on with the next lesson. I’m hoping that if I can at least teach them how to behave in class over my last two and a half weeks here, maybe it will make it easier for them to pick up the material.

I decided to first introduce the concept of raising your hand if you have a question or if you need something. Before it was a constant stream of “Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!” which can become distracting when you have twenty students in a small room. I explained that if they needed me they needed to sit in their seat quietly, raise their hand and wait patiently. This is taking a little longer to catch on to than I expected but we are working on it.

June 29, 2016

Today in class we continued to work on raising our hands when asking a question or answering a question. Another issue I tried to tackle today was the constant pushing and shoving that the students do to each other. Whenever anything doesn’t go their way the students take to pushing or hitting other students and I really wanted to put an end to that so we are also working on “not hitting our friends.” At the beginning of class we review “Teacher Ashley’s rules” so that we are all on the same page.

June 30, 2016

Today was “Careers Day” at school which was pretty much one of the most adorable things I have ever witnessed. The assignment was to come to school dressed up as what they wanted to be when they grew up. Almost all of my kids came in dressed as doctors and nurses and the class even took a short walk to a nearby clinic so that they could talk to the doctors there and learn about how hospitals work.

IMG_5923

Military officer and a Pastor
Future doctors!

July 1, 2016

Today was a half day at school because it was Friday so we only taught two lessons before we had P.E. with the whole school. Today was one of my most successful lessons so far. I taught them how to tell time during our math lesson and most of them caught on by the end of class. The kids are starting to raise their hands when they have questions and nobody hit or pushed anyone today (it’s the small victories that keep you going.) During our free time the kids goofed off and we took pictures and looked at some videos and pictures on my phone. They freaked out when they saw a picture of my mom, apparently we look alike?

July 6, 2016

July 4th and 5th are public holidays here in Zambia so the kids had a few days off from school which made today the first day of the week for us! Today was a challenge because the school was short staffed so we had less teachers while still having the same number of students. The school’s headmistress stepped in and taught one grade while I remained with my usual class and continued working on our lessons.

For our social studies lesson we learned about foods in Zambia which prompted the headmistress to ask me to mirror that lesson with foods in America which the kids really enjoyed.

July 7, 2016

Today we continued working on how to tell time and our English lesson was fun because we started a section titled “All About Me” which we will complete next week for my last week. It was fun reading some of their answers to the first few questions and the kids enjoyed learning my answers as well!

July 8, 2016

Today, instead of going to school, the volunteers at our house put together a “Fun Day” for the students at one of the community schools. We had games and snacks for the kids and it was basically like a field day back home. The kids had a blast and we wrapped the day up with a water balloon fight and a piñata which was hand made by the volunteers.

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