Wa now has internet again! It was very exciting; they said it was being updated but it is still just as slow and testy. Hopefully being turned on for a while will help it. Since I have not posted in a while I have so much to tell you all and am not sure where to start.
As my mom told you I am teaching P4-6 math at the Wa School for the Blind. The way grades are broken up is a little different here. Students can start at the school from ages 6-10; or if you become blind later in life you can come to the school. When you come you start at P1 and after you have learned the P1 curriculum you move to P2 and so on. So I have a range of ages in my classes. I have 9 year olds through, what looks like, 16 year olds.
Each class stays together during the day in their own classroom. They have a homeroom teacher that keeps track of grades and the little things. Then there are subject teachers that come in and teach their specific subjects. They have subject teachers in math, science, French, citizenship, nature, creative art, English, PE, Ghanaian languages, music and dance, catering, Braille and technology. The classes have each subject three times a week. So I teach a math class 9 times a week.
All of my classes are before 11am so after second break I go help out in the functional class. These students are visually impaired but have additional disabilities. This class learns about sorting, matching, cooking, brushing teeth, washing clothes and takes field trips to the market. I have so many ideas for this class. To better understand the abstract idea of same and different I brought in different textures of pipe cleaner and had them sort the different feels. The teachers were so excited about the new materials! (thanks to all who helped pay for them) The one student that know English was really grasping the concept and the other two that do not know English were really thriving from the different textures but not quiet understanding the concept yet. These things take time. There are 8 students in the class but only 3 have reported to the school so far.
After school is over Anna and I ride over to the missionary’s house that is in Wa and I help home school their two children; mostly do reading and math. Anna is helping their house helper learn to read. On Tuesdays and Thursdays Anna and I will be starting a bible study for the student. And I was asked to help start a math club at the school.
They bang the bell every half hour starting at 5:30am to 9pm.
5:30am they get up and get ready for the day
6am I get up and get ready for the day
6:30am the teachers go and sign in
6:40am the students line up for assembly (attendance)Then they move to the Dinning Hall (chop room) for morning devotions
7:30 classes start- Some classes are a half hour but if you have a double period the class is an hour long- all of my classes are a double period
8:30am in the first break – the students have breakfast
9-11am are classes
11am in second break
11:30-1:30 the students have more classes
1:30pm classes are over and the students eat lunch
2-3pm is Siesta – the students lays down for an hour- It is the hottest part of the day
3-5pm is afternoon classes- this just on their own- the student do homework or ask their teachers questions
5pm the classrooms close and they fetch water
7-8:45pm evening prep and clubs meet
9pm is lights out
Friday: they have singing practice at 3pm and there is reading club twice a week.
Saturday: Everyone does their wash and in the evening they have some type of entertainment like dancing.
Sunday: There is a church service from 7-8:30am and in the evening they have religious meetings. At 7pm they have hymn practice.
Yes it seems very full but in Ghanaian culture it is very laid back most things start late and go a little late expect when that 1:30 bell rings- everyone is done!
I met my students on Tuesday and my teacher really just threw me into teaching. In P5 they were working on fractions and my teacher did one example then told me to finish teaching. What a great opportunity; so I just jumped right in. I taught P4 about money, Ghana Cedis. Well really they taught me; I know a little well probably as much as them so we learned together. It was really fun.
I am building good relationships and very excited to plan lessons. I have to follow their curriculum pretty strictly and stick to a schedule but I am sure I will find a way to make it fun and interesting (new and exacting) for the students (and teachers).
Thanks for following. Hopefully the internet will stay on so I can post more often.