Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kaponga and Mazulouwa, Lovi and Matipa – May 10 & 11

Roadway to the village
The rainy season makes way for the cool dry season in Zambia.  The mornings require a jacket but the afternoon sun forces the jackets to come off.  Mabuchi and our driver, Moffat, project manager for CCAP Education Department, point out villages, schools, and friends they know along the way.  We zigzag down dusty roads flanked by tall grass crossing back and forth between Malawi and Zambia.
Mabuchi models a lesson while teachers look on

Our first stop is Kaponga – a school I have visited four times before.  Only a handful of children show up for school today but we teach the lesson anyway.  The school has two volunteer teachers and two government teachers.  The one government teacher has been there several years and is mentoring the two volunteer teachers.  Even though he has had some training from me in the past he reports he has learned some new things after observing Mabuchi’s lesson.  The teachers all contribute to the discussion.
The head teacher is thrilled to receive chalk and "dusters" for the school

We arrive at the village of Mazulouwa.  The two teachers present have received training from me in the past.  Mabuchi takes the lead on this lesson about parts of a flower, requiring the students to go outside and draw a flowering plant.  
Word spreads quickly that a white woman is in the village and when we return to the classroom a few curious visitors drop by and join us.  
The teachers admit they need to return to using some of the engagement strategies they have observed in the lesson. 

Mabuchi on the cement bridge
The next day we drive to Lovi, another village I have visited several times before.  In the past we have had to reach the village by crossing a log on a stream.  Last year the community put in a cement bridge making it possible for vehicles to cross the stream.  One of my beloved teachers, Mr. Mtonga his partner, a government teacher work well together. Mabuchi tries a new lesson about odd and even numbers which goes much better for her than it did for me in Lusaka in February.  Both teachers appear to work well together and contribute many insights about the lesson.
Reflecting on the lesson

Our final stop is Matipa.  The grade six and sevens are present and Mabuchi teaches the lesson on story elements.  She conducts much of it in Tumbuka but teaches several new vocabulary words and concepts in English.  
Students turn and talk to determine the story elements
She uses the story of the Tortoise and Hare to teach character, setting, problem and solution.  She reads the story in English while I act out some of the parts.  The school has two government teachers and one volunteer.  Again the teachers indicate they see the power of the strategies used and are willing to try them out in the coming days.

Some children get a ride to school in the truck (we made them sit down once we started moving)

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