Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Getting into the Daily Grind

Since the last time I posted a lot has changed. I feel like the initial surprise of being in another country has worn off, however the daily challenges remain the same. Our power has been going out at some point every day because of some non-functioning gas line from Nigeria. People here seem pretty annoyed. Also, I'm beginning to get familiar with the area and have had the chance to venture out of the neighborhood a few times. We went to the city (Accra) with Auntie last Saturday. The driving here is crazy! There are more or less no traffic rules and people are free to drive as fast/slow as they want, as well as go down any side of the road. I'm glad I don't have a car here, chances are pretty high that I would get in an accident. :)

When we were in the city, we went to a memorial and museum for the President that lead Ghana to independence in 1957, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. They truely admire this man and talk about him constantly. They also have a strange infatuation with the Obamas. They sell Obama pictures, pencils... even biscuits (cookies)! It's pretty funny. In the city, we also had a visit to one of the local markets. It was incredible to see all of the hand carved beads, pots, woven baskets and kenti cloth. Auntie told Jessica and I that it is a tradition for her to give each of the students staying with a her a dress made of kenti cloth at the end of their stay. I'm very excited about that!

We only had three days of school this week because our midterm break starts tomorrow (Thursday through next Monday). I am beginning to know all of the student's names and am slowly getting adjusted to the daily routine here. This week I taught "red light, green light" to the students as an additional activity to support their lesson on traffic safety. They loved it however, the sun here is VERY hot so we were only able to play outside for a short amount of time. I also taught the kids the rhyme "One two, buckle my shoe." This was very success. :) I'm learning that these children love anything that engages them in the form of singing and dancing. The children are wonderful dancers and shake around non-stop! Because our school is a Catholic- based school there is "worship" service every Wednesday morning and the students jump around, clapping their hands while dancing to the drums that one of the teachers plays for them. They also sing songs about Jesus and listen to stories from the Bible.

I talked with my teacher about gradually starting to teach things from the student's workbooks next week and she agreed to give me that control. In addition to starting to work with the student's curriculum, the teacher has given me the freedom to try any classroom management techniques that I feel comfortable with. I've tried having the students stand outside of the room when they are naughty, sit in a chair facing the wall, even writing their names on the board... however, not many of these have been successful. It is definitely a rowdy room of 4 year olds! I made a sticker chart this past week and have brought stickers with that were donated from my university supervisor in America (thanks, Gordy!). I am thinking about possibly implementing this as a form of reward system for the students who aren't acting up. We'll see how well that works.

That's all for now, hope to write more soon.

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