Tuesday 25-06-2013

Up at 5:50 again this morning, because it was my day for breakfast duty. It’s funny how yesterday’s mishaps made me so grateful for the littlest things today – namely eating without a fire alarm blaring in the background and with lights/electricity. There were scrambled eggs (and bananas!) for breakfast, and I made a nice egg and toast sandwich.

After a brief school-wide assembly, I was off to maths first block. Today’s class did end up going much better than yesterday’s class. Part of it is that we’re now doing a much easier, more straightforward topic (finding areas), but the other part is that we gave the kids more time to do more practice problems.

Daniel and I also tried to really have more fun with the kids. We even briefly told them about our “whacky” measuring system – when we asked them how many inches they thought were in a foot, they all yelled out “10” (If only it were so simple!) Later, when I was walking around helping kids individually, one of the students asked me “so, how do you find your shoe size based on the foot?” I really wish I had an answer for him!

After that, I had a library free and then it was time for tea and sandwich break. Today the sandwiches were organised by type, so I could easily avoid the egg ones, and head straight for the PB and jelly ones.

Then we had a very brief “discussion” (really Q+A) with the upper, and then lower form 6-ers. Afterwards, Daniel and I lesson-planned for tomorrow, making sure to keep the “teaching to individual classwork” ratio the same as it was today.

During last period, I met with Ingrid (my MaP scholar mentee) and we talked a lot about general college minutia – who is going to write her recommendation, what essay(s) she will start writing over the long weekend, how to narrow down her 37-school college list, etc.

Ingrid is very apprehensive about studying French in America (I’m not sure if she’s been taught “France French” or “Canadian French” in Botswana, but whichever one she has been taught, it seems like The Hill in Pennsylvania uses the other dialect). She is feeling very nervous about jumping into French at The Hill, so I introduced her to Conjuguemos. Conjuguemos is a website one of my past Spanish teachers made that helps you learn conjugations of verbs in many different tenses and many different languages. Ingrid seemed very relieved to have a concrete study tool to use, especially since the textbooks she ordered won’t be here for another three weeks!

Next it was time for lunch – a very salty chicken, served alongside some very good pasta (and yet again, at MaP I’m part of the majority when I put ketchup on my pasta!) After a bit of downtime, I headed off to maths clinic at 2:15.

When I first got to maths clinic and saw that there were no form 6 students to help Jennifer and me with tutoring, I got a little nervous, but it turns out today was actually a lot of fun! I was running back and forth, working with one student on solving one-variable equations and a group of two girls doing area and volume work.

Next it was time for social football! Turns out that the girls have a scrimmage against a local private school on Thursday, so today’s practice was spent just doing a half-field scrimmage for an hour. Or so we thought. Alistair had the “starters” on one team, and eight other girls on the second team. The rest of us had to play a dribbling/running drill off to the side. I was so bummed, but, after halftime (and a little bit of nagging!) Jennifer and I were finally allowed to play in last 15 minutes of the scrimmage (although we won’t be able to play on Thursday, but hey, I’ll take what I can get!)

Soccer was fun, but I realised how weak/out of shape I am from my “illness” last week. Regardless, it just felt good to be out in the brilliant sunshine, running around for a bit. Also, Fifi (one of the MaP scholars) and her sister were both on the same team (her younger sister is probably the best player on the whole team) and their antics reminded me a lot of myself and Lulu. At one point, Fifi started singing and her sister joined right in!

After a quick shower, it was time for dinner, which was actually pretty good tonight (chicken and potatoes, but I also supplemented with toast, hummus and cucumbers!)

Then the MaPterns all ended up in the staff room for quite a bit after dinner, since we were all desperate for WiFi. We spent a great deal of time talking, surging the web and laughing. I had prep duty at night, too, so after making sure everyone was in the boarding house at 9:45, it was off to bed!

TGT: 1) productive maths clinic where I felt like I was getting through to the students 2) hanging out in the staff room after dinner 3) really yummy chicken dinner (supplemented with hummus toast)

Until next time,
~JK

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