Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today I gave my first midterm, I think I was more nervous than the students were. Each class has one double block per week so I am having each class take the exam during their double block so I can have the class take the test in two smaller groups, to cut down on cheating. As far as I could tell, there didn’t seem to be much cheating, perhaps because they were all sitting too far apart from each other to try. Kids from the second group did try to look in the windows which in one sense is fine because I was giving them a different test, but saddened me because there doesn’t seem to be any sense of shame in cheating here. The sense (in many arenas here, outside of cheating in schools) seems to be that you are entitled to whatever you can get away with.
I sat in on an English colleague’s lesson today. He said, “in English you have to be careful because there are many words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things.” I thought to myself, yes, this is very true. He wrote the words “bad” and “bed” on the board and said “see these words sound the same but mean different things” and explained the difference between the two. In the way that Mozambicans speak, yes those words sound exactly the same. I tried to be inconspicuous as I silently died of laughter in the back of the classroom.

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