School of Peace Week 3

Maybe I’m slap happy because my work week (teaching Mon – Tues) is behind me – yeah! And this week was all ups and downs.   Mostly downs.

Oh – teaching this week!  Where do I begin?  Yesterday was so discouraging. Lemme just get this on the table: I’m teaching ten kids.  TEN!  And they wouldn’t shut the F up!  They drove me nuts yesterday.  How do teachers with 20+ kids in a class do it?  I got home and realized that maybe I’m not cut out for teaching.  Perhaps I would do better being an administrator of the school.  It seems like the current admin is leaving soon anyway.   I could hire COMPETENT and TRAINED teachers (to replace me).  I could organize after school activities, raise money, enlist volunteers to teach specific subjects just a few hours a week, we could  lengthen the school day , come up with a college track curriculum that students can follow if they choose, on and on.  Yesterday, I would have told you that all of those tasks seemed far easier than getting the concept of factorials into ten kids’ brains when they wouldn’t freaking shut the hell up!

Today it was up and down.  At one point I just gave up. In capitulation, I chucked the dry erase pen over my head and it landed a few feet behind me.  Very calmly I said,  “You all want to talk. I get that.  But here’s the thing, I’m not going to yell.  So, you go ahead and talk.  I’ll be in the other room.”  I left.  I hopped on my phone and Facebooked out for a few minutes.

The door opened, four girls came in. “If you want to learn English, have a seat,”  I said.  They sat, and we discussed siblings, brothers, sisters.  I found out that one of the boys in the class is brother to Sabi, the shy younger girl.  One girl has four siblings.  Slowly the boys joined us.  They wanted to learn English too.  They weren’t exactly SILENT, but, they were better – for a while.  When they grew too rowdy again, I said, in a matter-of-fact tone, “I’m going to the other room now.  You stay here if you want to play.  Come with me if you want to learn English.”  The girls followed.  We continued the lesson and then the boys eventually followed. Soon it got rowdy. This got them tick marks on the board and per our agreement – they had to write sentences in their books – and I made them do it at break.  I’m evil.  But they wrote it all out.

After their lunch but still during break, the the girls drew on the board, “I love teacher Miss Laura” and they drew pictures of me.  What sweethearts.

Then we all played a game.  There’s nothing like game play to show me EXACTLY where they are in their knowledge. Sometimes I write trick questions and they all get it wrong.  But they’re glued to the action the whole time.  Then I give away the trick and they all smack themselves on the heads, ‘AWWWW!’  Muah ah ah.

Team Mr. Penang beat team SuperSmart  and team Dom/Doom.

I’m pooped.

Behind the scenes I’m making contacts with NGO people and Amesenator (woot!) on the US side.  I’m meeting with another teacher tomorrow to get status on the NGO and more operational stuff at the school.