Friday, November 20, 2009
Model school began yesterday. We recruit 7-11ish grade kids from the community to come to school in the mornings so we can have practice teaching in a school setting. Of course the classes are only about 2O students rather than the 7O most of us will have at site, and these kids are very well behaved, so it's not entirely representative of what we will be facing. We give one lesson and observe three others per day. Giving lessons to real Mozambican students, rather than our american chemistry colleagues, is very helpful though. I think observing other peoples' lessons is most beneficial for me. There is just so much you see from the back of the classroom that you don't see when you're up front and your adrenaline is pumping. Today I was to give a lesson on the periodis table, which would have been straightforward if it weren't that the ONLY copy of a periodic table was the small one in my book. So yesterday afternoon my colleagues and i made a 4x6' periodic table with all 111 known elements, their chemical symbols, their atomic numbers, and atomic masses. Our supplies: one marker and no straightedges. There were a ton of elements I wrote yesterday that I swear I had never seen before!