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Monday, August 13, 2012

First day of School!

After 7 days of rest, I have begun work at Holy Cross School!

Inside Holy Cross

 First, some logistics:

The South African school year runs January to December. In lieu of summer and winter breaks, there are medium-sized breaks that segment the school year into 4 ‘terms’. The plan is for me to be with grade R (Kindergarden) for the remainder of this year, and migrate with the class into grade 1 come January.

Holy Cross School has 28 students and 10 staff, allowing for a close-knit community. Students arrive between 7 and 7:45, and assembly bell is rung at approximately 8:00 (don’t get too hung up on time here :) )

Stephen and I arrive at 7:45, meet the other teachers, and can enjoy tea or coffee while we discuss the day. We have also taken to playing with the students on the playground :)

Practicing ABCs

My role has been to shadow the class and get a feel for how school is run. The grade R class already had two teachers in it -the head teacher, and an assistant seeking teacher certification- and they were very kind in welcoming me into their classroom.

Each morning begins with brushing teeth -something not practiced at every student’s home- and then reviewing basic concepts such as days of the week and months of the year….however, these lessons are covered in both English and Xhosa. Even though some students struggle, it is nonetheless impressive they are learning dual languages.
Grade R Classroom

This week has the theme of ‘transport’, meaning we talk about planes, trains, bicycles, etc. Students drew their favorite type of transport, and also ‘made their own car’ out of shoe boxes and toilet paper rolls.

School ends at 12:45, but an afternoon tutoring program begins at 2:30. This is where students from  schools in Grahamstown can come for homework help. I wound up working with two 4th girls who were learning the names of continents.

Our low student:teacher ratio has afforded me a light workload, but this situation is quickly changing; I have been assigned lead role for Thursday's computer class! Yes, we have computers. No, no quite like yours.

We’ll see how this goes!!!

Thank you very much for your support over this year. I look forward to being partners in this journey.
In Christ,

1 comment:

  1. Yay for your first week of school! Hope you are settling in well. It certainly is gorgeous out there--thanks for the pics!