If I had champagne, I’d ask everyone to cheer with me for my first truly productive week at site! You may be thinking this is long overdue, but after 2 months of training, 3 months of research, and a few weeks of dipping my toes in the water, I’ve finally gotten into the groove of things here. Saturday I had my first English Club for Teachers, Tuesday I had my first English Club for Students and Thursday was my first solo-training session. So I’m going to deem this week a success! And I even have another English Club this coming Saturday. I’ve been a good little worker bee : )
Saturday we played some icebreakers to get to know each other because I had teachers from 3 of my cluster schools come. Then we broke off into groups to discuss what they wanted to learn in English, why they wanted to learn it, how they were already practicing English, and what we could do in the future.
We ended class with tea and kolo. Many of the teachers said they were looking forward to future club meetings…possibly because of the tea and kolo? Haha I hope not!
On Tuesday, we began the Student’s English Club by going outside, introducing ourselves, our favourite activity, and then posing for fashion photos. Most of the students posed the same way, so I’m definitely going to have to emphasize creativity and originality in future club meetings! That said, maybe I should appreciate how unmaterialistic this society is! One thing I don’t miss about America: advertising.
Then we went back inside and talked about their goals for English – what they wanted to learn and why – and we wrote their answers down on balloons that we put up in the classroom so that students would always remember their motivation for coming to the English Club. Balloons are not a big thing in Ethiopia – no one seemed to know what they were haha which is why many were glued upside down : ) This is now my favourite wall in the English Club room.
Afterward, we played a couple of games in English and then sat in a circle and I let them ask me questions – you know the usual: How old are you? Why did you want to come to Ethiopia? Are you married? Why not? Will you get married soon? Why not? You get the picture, I love cultural differences!
Then Thursday was my first solo training. It took place at Gebeya Dar, one of my cluster schools (the two English Clubs took place at Adare, my primary school). The topic was learning styles and how to motivate students based on those styles. I taught this training twice, once for the morning teachers and then again for the afternoon teachers. They left with new ideas for activities they could use in their various classrooms (math, language, science, and civics). I love how excited they got when discussing their results from the Multiple Intelligence Survey I had them take.
So all-in-all, I’d consider it a pretty good week. Just in time for Christmas vacation haha there may not be snow, but we’re still going to celebrate in style! Hope all of you have wonderful holidays with your families and friends! I deserve a gold star : ) MCS