Monday, January 25, 2010


Today I gave my first real math lessons. In retrospect, one of my “real life examples” was completely over their heads, but I will get better with time. In school here kids are very seldom expected to apply material learned to new or real life situations, so I probably shouldn’t have paired this with completely new material on the very first day! Also, when asked if they understand, Mozambican students are culturally expected to respond “yes.” So they always do, regardless of whether they actually understand or not. I couldn’t get anyone to actually ask a question on the material today, but I was able to get them all responding loudly (this is a big deal, Mozambican kids speak so softly!) to my questions! After my classes I watched one of my colleagues who also teaches eighth grade math give a lesson. It was incredibly helpful because Mozambican teachers have quite a different style than my American colleagues did during model school. It also gave me insight into why my students were behaving a certain way, because they were reacting to me as if I were a Mozambican teacher.
My Portuguese has improved a ton since model school, during which I felt I had to write out every word I wanted to say during class. This afternoon I went into town and got greeted “professor Anata!” by a couple excitedly beaming students which felt really good.

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