Saturday, February 04, 2006

The first day of school?

Well the first day of classes was supposed to Wednesday. I spent Monday and Tuesday night reading the 11th and 12th grade books, grueling over the best way to introduce myself, and present my class as fun, exciting, and passable with out cheating or sexual favors. I wanted to convey to my students that I want them to learn English, that my successes are their successes, that they can have confidence in me to give their work the grade it deserves, sound pretty rudimentary right. Well the educational system is a little different here. English is often viewed as impossible to pass, bc the majority of the teachers dont speak english, and are threatened when students speak better then them, so they give unfair tests exc. Social status and student-teacher relationships unfortunetly weigh just as heavily into the final grade as the quality of their work. So hours of prep work I emerged with 2 90 minute lessons that i felt comfortable with, incorporating speaking, writing, reading, and critical thinking. We would have a discussion on why its important to learn English. Write the class rules together. I would go over my expectatons (which the dork in me came up with the 4 p's punctual, prepared, participate = pass) was so excited to write it on the board. Then the students would pair up, difficulty in itself student are not use to pair group work... The style here is a 90 minute lecture where students rapidly take notes and discouraged from asking the every importan Why question or challenging the teacher.... anways the students would pair up and interview each other, question sin different tenses so i could evaluate where they were at... it was going to be beautiful but.

When I arrived hour early visual aids in hand there were no students to be found. Apperantly the school posted the Turmas (class list late), because students didnt know their schedule they were not able to go to class... Take about an adrenline crash... APPARENTLY the directo decieded the first day of class should be monday, even though wednesday was nationally the officially first day of school... somehow the entire town of Dondo recieved the memo memo but the american teachers. eu esteve um pocou frustrado.

Ate Segunda Feira!

The nitty gritty

-Teaching 5 Turmas (Classes), 3 11th grade and 2 12th grade, totaling over 300 students. Should be quite the adventure.

- I have a dog her name is Zua, Sol in Sena. She is my closest friend here, yes i may return a strange peace corps volunteer that talks to animals like their people.

- Got tricked into going on a date with a man who loved to hear himself talk and hated to listen. long story and not enough time to explain. But it included a sunset walk on a beach, a concert, dinner, sounds romantic! Well it would have been if i wasnt tricked into going with one of the most pompous men on the planet. going on a date here is like stepping back into gender roles in the 1950s he spoke for me at the restaraunt, told the waited to stop serving me soup, two ladels for were enough, had to listen to ramblings, that fwerent even interesting thoughts or ideas, and was cut off or ignored when i gave my opinion or tried to bring jup a more 'academic' topic... frustrating to say the least, im happy its over and it was free.. he did pay for everything...