Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Madame Jackie Pt 2

Hello everyone, or everyone who reads this. Yes I am still alive if
you were wondering. I know that I haven’t been posting much but it
seems that life has been very hectic lately. I have just come back
from Kenya and that was an amazing trip. I saw many different animals
on the safari that we took in the Masi Mara. It was a fun trip but I
won’t go into too many details about the trip. I am happy to be back
in Kampala working again.

This past few weeks I have been teaching at Sr. Miriam Duggan Primary
School. I know that I have posted briefly about this in my last post.
Teaching has been one of the most enjoyable things that I have been
doing here. I started off teaching English lessons but I have moved on
from that. I teach from the Primary 5 – Primary 7 grades because they
can all understand my English a lot more than the lower grades. This
past week I was teaching peace. I had a lesson plan which involved
getting the students to discuss the idea of what peace is, then I
moved onto peace symbols and at the end I had them create an outline
of their hands. This lesson was not the easiest that I have ever had
to do mainly because the students at the school are not used to
participating. The students usually sit in their desks and they only
speak when they are called on to produce an answer. This means that
they are not used to entering into a discussion. Trying to get the
students to speak felt like I was pulling teeth at some times. I
started with the Primary 4 class and I was disheartened. I felt like
they did not understand what it was that I was saying or maybe they
just didn’t want to pay attention to my lesson. The next class was
much more interactive and they gave me some hope. I learned later that
the Primary 4 class could not understand my accent. So we continued
with the lessons. The upper classes, Primary 5 and Primary 6, had more
to say on the subject of peace and I was happy to see the students
participating in the lessons.

This week Andrew, one of the American volunteers, and I are going to be
teaching about different diseases: TB and Malaria. So far it seems
like the students understand malaria and we seemed to underestimate
their knowledge. I have created the TB lesson and I hope that it is a
lesson where they will be able to learn something that they didn’t
know before. One thing that I tend to struggle with here is the
students who are advanced to later classes when they should have been
held back. In the Primary 6 class there are students who are very
smart and there are students who seem to be struggling with the
material. Most of the lessons are said verbally so the students who
don’t know the answer wait until the students who do know the answer,
answer the questions. I have also seen the report cards of some of
these students and it makes me wonder how they are advanced when they
would not have been allowed to do so back at home. It is a struggle to
be able to comprehend if everyone understands our lessons when there
is such a big class too! There are 80 in the Primary 6 class. Time is
running short. Wish me luck with teaching!

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