Teaching in the schools

Some of the teachers were already in my classes 2 years ago. I don’t have lesson plans,usually finding a need and using that to teach. One morning someone spotted a sentence with a few mistakes on the board: “Janes had ____ his pepsi.” There were several words on the board to choose to fill in the blank. One was “drunk.” There was my lesson plan for most of the morning class. We broke that down to its 4 mistakes and worked on correcting them. The next day, we spotted a lesson on the board that included the teacher purposefully making a mistake and asking the students to correct it. It is so much fun when the teaching works.

primary 1 children

primary 1 children

MAKE LEARNING FUN

MAKE LEARNING FUN

In the afternoon, I got a total surprise. Clementina showed up unexpectedly. We immediately hugged and we were both in tears from the joy of seeing each other. She said she will go to nursing school next year.
Clementina and I went to the Primary grades and read books and taught phonics to the kids. It is always a surprise how far behind us they are in their learning. We stepped it up a few notches and the kids were keeping up.

The older students get to watch movies on my computer while I am doing other things. I bring science and animal DVDs. They love them and are hearing english while watching.

Students watching a movie while I teach in another room

Students watching a movie while I teach in another room

In Ghana, I find myself being the kind of teacher that suits my personality. I am like a busy bee pollinating each class with some basic skills of how to learn more effectively. I go back and forth teaching different things in each room. That kind of flitting around suits me. My math is terrible but I can teach them how to use flash cards to help their math skills. I teach basic computer skills by having the students do all of the steps on my computer while putting in a DVD to putting it back into the holder.

Stamping and putting stickers on all new library books.

Stamping and putting stickers on all new library books.

Next week we will teach “Gentle Handling of Animals”and sex ed.

My goal is that these students get better results on their exams than the last two years. Now, we know that all of the kids can pass the test and the teachers are excited to challenge their students to the next level. I will be keeping my fingers crossed.

2 thoughts on “Teaching in the schools

  1. Jan,
    I think it is amazing that these kids can go to school and be expected to do all their learning in a foreign language and then go home and speak their native language. Research has shown that at least in the primary grades, they should be learning their native languages which prepares them to be better students for the later grades. That is what you will see happening in the next few years in many African countries. Imagine if American children went to school at age 5 and the teacher is teaching them in French or another language they have never heard. It is not easy.

    • Hi Jarra, all of the schools here teach in English. It is the language all of their books are in. I realize it is difficult, but it is the only way they will get ahead here. Even the technical schools here require that they have good grades and all exams are in English. The main language in Accra is in English. So, it is not the same here as you are saying. The primary schools are also being taught in english it is just that they don’t expect much of the students so they don’t teach them much. Especially in these small, far away villages, what you are saying doesn’t appear to be the case here. Part of the problem is as you said to me on the phone, that several of the teachers are not educated. Not many people want to go this far away, with few places to live and getting paid little money. But, the students are capable. I have seen it.

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