Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lesson Observations Continue

The clouds are beautiful during rainy season
On Thursday we visited two schools located in two of the neediest sections of town.  Both schools have a pre-school program, grade one through three, and four through six.
The teachers struggle a bit more than other schools to incorporate the strategies they have been taught. Besides the methodologies, English is also a challenge.  Most of the instruction is still taught in the local language.  The teachers however care about the students and are dedicated and committed to their school.  I keep reminded them, caring and loving students is the most important quality of a teacher and something I cannot teach them so I am glad they already have that!
Caring and dedicated teachers post-conference with Mabuchi

This little one walked into class and wanted to sit right next to me
Friday we visited Mandevu and Matero.  We arrived at Mandevu early enough to see the children do some warm up exercises, sing the National Anthem, recite verses and pray. Once the children were dismissed to class, Mabuchi and I began our observations right away.  
Students are happy to share with each other
Richard the grade five and six teacher taught a math lesson and his students were very attentive and shared with their partners readily.  Richard is really making progress and was able to come up with some ideas about how to make his lesson even better next time.
Teacher Richard monitors students
The head teacher, who is a retired government school teacher, took the training and the lesson I modeled to heart.  He engaged all the learners in a vocabulary lesson in order to prepare them for a passage they will read on Monday.  Not only did they discuss and define the words, he was able to show them a picture or example of the words.  I too was engaged in the lesson so much so I didn’t take any photos! He was able to reflect on his lesson pointing out what went well and what he might do to improve the lesson next time.  I encouraged him to talk about these things with the other two less experienced teachers.  He has much to offer his colleagues and the students.
Always love chatting with these three
As usual we concluded our visit with a brief call on the pastor and the school board.

Matero was our next stop.  The two teachers I observed have had no training from me, just the model lesson I gave a week ago and some teaching experience elsewhere.  Both teachers incorporated many strategies I modeled last week. 
James' visual aid for the lesson

James monitor his grade one and twos
James, the grade one and two teacher taught parts of the body (a lesson that must be in the syllabus this week, as I have seen it taught earlier this week in another grade one & two class).  He used a song, drew his own chart, and had the students turn and talk.  The students seemed to enjoy the lesson and James reported they did very well on their drawings.  Patrick, the grade five & six teacher taught a lesson on puberty.  I noticed there was no snickering or giggling while the students brainstormed changes that take place in the body as they grow from a girl to a woman or boy to a man.  This would not have been the case in many of the US classes I have observed. 
Richard prepares for the lesson
The teacher asked the students to form groups and immediately,without further instructions, the students got up, moved their desks, and were seated in groups.  It was obvious the student share in groups and turn and talk frequently as there was no hesitation when asked to do so. Patrick reported that he just picked up these techniques from observing my lesson last week and has been practicing them everyday!  Both teachers have learned so much and been able to apply it!  Mabuchi and I were very encouraged. 
Teachers reflect after the lesson

Mabuchi and I made a stop downtown and she ran into a classmate from way out in Eastern Province whom she has not seen for 20 years!  They caught up a bit while I took their picture.
Mabuchi and her friend from Middle School

I went home exhausted but very satisfied!

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