- Be at the school assembly from 7:45-8:00AM, Monday through Friday.
- Teach three hours of art class a week to children in grades 2 and 3.
- Do a head count in woodshop once a day, at any time.
It’s no wonder I’m so exhausted!
All joking aside, I do spend a lot of time thinking about what do do with the art classes. How can I use that time to re-teach simple English vocab? How can I use that time to break down the children’s “copy from the board” habit? Without planning it just turns into coloring time, which is fun, but not a lot of learning actually happens.
So that accounts for some time, but really you ask, what do you DO all day?
Fair question. Between assembly and class, if there is class that day, I will often nap. This is because it’s a pretty safe bet that I stayed up late, and I’m tired. I might also shave.
Before I go to class I usually do the woodshop head count, which consists of carrying a thin pink book of puzzling dimensions (maybe 10×14 inches with 4 sheets of paper inside) into the woodshop, asking “is everyone here?” then leaving and writing little X’s in the book.
(The idea is for me to eventually teach and English and Math in woodshop. Hopefully I’ll hear back on that soon.)
Each class is half an hour, and usually I start with a little review, which consists of writing the wrong thing on the board (related to the previous class), asking if it’s correct, acting dramatic when it’s not, then changing it until it’s right. I then segue into the day’s topic by drawing something new but related on the board, getting help from the students until the drawing is complete, then letting the kids free-draw while I walk around and encourage them. I try to change the board contents every time I do a lap—this maddens some of the kids who just want to copy, but it seems like it’s starting to sink in that they don’t need to simply copy—they can do their own thing. I hope this will sink in more as the year goes on.
After class I go out to lunch, either at a restaurant or sometimes I pick something up at the nearby Al-Habeeb’s supermarket, then I return and have Internet Research Time until I pass out, usually far too late. My ratio of research-to-action is very low on the action side right now. This will improve soon, now that I’ve finished the floppy disk that I want to use in the third library computer… this finally gives the kids good things to do on all 3 monitors! (The 4th computer doesn’t have a screen.) I want to show myself that I can make good use of what’s here before we go and turn it into a real lab!
Sometimes in the evening I’ll go out and have some shawarma and any number of competing restaurants near Old Town, book in hand. I’ve started reading the novels left by the previous volunteer, starting with Ray Bradbury’s I sing the body electric! I’ve seen Mr. Bradbury on two occasions: once in San Diego and once in Santa Monica, and I love his books that much more for it. I haven’t finished this one yet but I highly recommend it. The very first short story is entitled, The Kilimanjaro Device, which I found curious, this being the first book I’ve started since leaving Kilimanjaro’s shadow in Loitokitok. Coincidence, or fate?