Monday, January 25, 2010
Finally! I taught my first classes today. I didn’t actually teach any material, just introduced myself, asked the kids to introduce themselves, talked a little bit about my rules and expectations, and then gave the kids a mini-test. I wanted to know what the base knowledge level of my students was because I don’t have any personal experience with what sort of instruction the kids receive in primary school here, and also there can often be a large discrepancy between what kids know in theory (meaning what they were taught in the previous grades that they passed) and what they are actually able to do. Homeroom classes in Mozambique are arranged by age, so for each grade the lower numbers are the younger kids and the higher numbers are the older kids (who likely have failed more often or are otherwise the “indisciplinados”). I teach eight grade, homerooms 1-5, so I have the youngest kids in the secondary school. This means that my students are probably the best students, but also the youngest, most timid students. I am pretty sure today they were all pretty terrified of this white lady with a funny accent who can’t make her words agree.