March 3, 2014

Goodmorning Teacher Jordan! Today was my first day teaching and I woke up with anticipation. I was nervous to be in control of 60 students, but as soon as we took the short bus ride to the school my comfort level went up. We walked to the front of the building and met a faculty member. He introduced himself and showed us to our first classroom for a reading session. I sat down with two students, Gift and Comfort, who were eagerly repeating my name. As we read multiple stories I asked them numerous comprehension questions which they answered excitedly.

It was then time for snack and chaos ensued. We were tackled by so many kids that I couldn’t keep track of them. I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures. The younger students came running up to the camera yelling “obroni” (foreigner) and asked me to take their pictures, fighting for center stage. I took as many as I could, but when they started grabbing at the camera I put it away. It was time for my first class.

Nerves were running through my body as I stepped into my first classroom. Kids were running all over the place, but a few students started asking me questions right away. Before class was supposed to start, one student said “please begin teaching me now” and my excitement grew. I was happy to be teaching somebody who was eager to learn.

The students sped through the lesson, taking in every minute while destroying my plans as far as timing went. I grew used to responding to “Madame” as the day went on. When we stopped for our free period I tried to replace all the water that had sweat out of my body. Even though I couldn’t stop sweating, I was glad not to be in the middle of a snow storm. Feeling the heat of the sun was much needed after such a brutal winter.

Lunch was delicious. The customary food could not be better. We sat in the shade of the library to eat, but soon were back out on the courtyard spending time with the kids. Many of us had spoken over lunch about the rowdiness of certain classes, and luckily I had them for the two next periods. Once we got them working on the worksheets we brought along, keeping them under control was easy (maybe too easy considering one kid was fast asleep in the back).

The last period of the day was the most enjoyable for me. I spent it helping a student, Benjamin, read Dr. Seuss. He occasionally looked to me for help with a word, and cruised through the 60 pages of rhymes. After that period, I was ready for a break. We piled back into the van and headed back to the house. Most of the evening was spent playing cards and making friendships bracelets. Lying in bed has never felt so good.

Fanti words of the day:

Obroni: foreigner
Medasi: thank you
Ekua: Wednesday (the day I was born)

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