It’s crazy to think that another entire week at school has passed. It’s even crazier to think that in a week from right now I will be home. Even though the week went by fast a lot of great things still happened.
On Monday of this week Amber and I did a lesson that pushed the students out of their comfort zones. The students are used to staying in their seats and copying what the teacher writes on the board then completing homework. We decided to do a live demonstration of division. We placed a certain number of cubes in a back and called a certain number of students to the front of the room. The cubes were divisible by the students. We then had another student work to divide the cubes evenly among the students. We were nervous that the students wouldn’t be able to handle it; they tend to be rowdy during a regular lesson. But the students surprised us. They were perfectly quiet and remained in their seats, another rare thing, for the entirety of the lesson. I think they were finally entertained by what was going on in the front of the room. This was so exciting to see, the students are capable of more than we know.
We continued to push them out of their comfort zone on Tuesday by asking the students to now solve division problems using a pictorial representation. We modeled this for the students and guided them through it very slowly. Again, it was a huge success. I think the students will have a conceptual understanding of what division is as opposed to just a procedural understanding of how to get a correct answer thanks to Amber and I, and that’s a great feeling.
We had another good day at school on Wednesday and learned about the festivities we would get to participate in on Thursday. On Thursday, Arusha School turned 80 years old. The students had normal class from 8-10 in which time we taught one lesson. Then, after tea time the students were released to participate in tree planting. The five Grand Valley students that are at the school and I were able to literally lay roots at Arusha School by planting a tree outside their main building. Many parents and faculty were involved and the students were thrilled. We also spent a lot of time just playing with and spending time with our students. This is by far our favorite aspect of being at school. We learned new games and songs and bonded with a lot of our students. Then we headed to the market while the students were at lunch; luckily the market is just down the street from the school. After we went back to the school to play some football. I just watched, there’s no way I could keep up with the students. It was an amazingly fun day.
Today school was good as usual. Amber and I made a lot of progress in our bookmarks for our students. We have 100 students all together so it’s quite an undertaking. Tonight we go for dinner at the Blue Heron, which is always, always exciting and tomorrow we head to Arusha National Park and camp at Mama Anna’s for the night. I know this weekend is going to fly by just as fast as the rest have but I’m trying to savor the days I have left in this experience.