In the homeroom class I am director of I have been having two problems with my kids. They are divided into five groups and each group is supposed to clean the classroom every day, but a lot of the kids have been shirking their cleaning duties. Also, on the days when I see my homeroom twice, first for math class and then later for homeroom meeting or “life group,” a number of students have been just leaving after classes. Today we had a double class of “life group” so I decided to try to deal with these problems. When the bell rang for the interval between the two hours I wouldn’t let them leave and some of them got really upset. I said “those of you who are upset that you can’t leave right now, you should talk to your classmates. I know that if I let you guys go outside right now some of you won’t come back, so nobody can leave. It’s because of your classmates who always run away that nobody can leave, so figure it out amongst yourselves.” Then I let go all the students who weren’t on my list and physically barred the door to keep in the kids on my list, who had either not cleaned or skipped a homeroom class at some point. I shut the door and basically locked us in there for the remaining time. Then, when it became time to clean, I gathered all of their bags and notebooks and held them hostage until the cleaning was finished, knowing that they wouldn’t run away without their stuff. It certainly seemed to get through to them, so we will find out next week how effective it was.
This afternoon Natalia, Ann, and I bought half a kilo of fresh shrimp for 35 Meticais, about a dollar, and made a wonderful shrimp and vegetable stir fry. I am quite sad that mango and pineapple season are ending, but the consolation is that avocado and orange season are starting up and we made the most amazing guacamole with four fresh avocados.