South Africa

Chivalry is NOT dead…it just moved to South Africa!

First day of class was a success! I had such a great time I am not sure if I want to come home…;-)

I am teaching in Grade 5 (not 5th grade) and my teacher is Mr. Dowdle. I have a class of about 15 students and they are all so wonderful! They were so kind and respectful and polite! As soon as I walked in the building everyone (including the students) were saying in there accent “Good Morning Ma’am”! Some of the young male students were holding doors and allowing me to walk through a door first! When my teacher or any teacher for that matter entered the classroom and all of the students stood up and greeted them!!!! AMAZING! Then in the middle of the day everything stops and the students and the teachers take 30 minutes to just hang out and take a break! The teachers retire to the staff room for tea and snacks! No the teachers do not talk about upcoming tests or curriculum related things or even their students…they just take a break from everything while to students go outside and play! Why don’t we have this in America???? Remind me to suggest this to President Obama when I get back!
I also got to sit in on a lesson of Afrikaans (which is the next widely spoken language after English). It was very interesting and I hope to learn a lot while at the school.
My classroom does not have any computers, nor dry erase board, or even an overhead projector. It has a traditional chalk board and a small TV/VCR on a shelf in the front of the room. The children sit in these old wooden desks with the chair attached (pics coming soon). Although I am sure my school could afford all of the latest technology in Education, I don’t see a need for it. My students have access to computers at school and even at home. Also my school teaches more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. My students have to the chance to take music lessons of any instrument imaginable, join the choir, do a variety of sports, and arts and drama. I hope to get involved with a lot of these things!
At the end of the academic day, the bell dismisses the students and the staff to either go home or stay on campus for lunch. Then the sporting events or ‘sport’ begins. This is when students can partake in activities like swimming, cricket, tennis, hockey, net ball, basketball, and many more. After ‘sport’ there is Prep which is like study hall. I plan to come back to school for prep today.
First day of school was so much fun and I have already learned so much! I can’t wait to really teach and learn even more from my students! Pictures of my school coming soon!
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