This week I started teaching my Form 3's for Biology. Like Form 4's, there are 2 streams, A and B. And, apparently, now Form 4's has 3 streams, despite the fact that what is now B and C, are still in the same classroom as the original B. Starting with Form 3 was a nice change because my Form 4's were giving me major issues about turningin homework. I don't understand how difficult it is to turn in homework that I assigned a whole week ago. Talk about lazy. And organizing the desks at the beginning of class (I usually teach the first 4 periods of the day...)seems to be the most impossible task in the world. It's so frustrating when I feel like my job is more babysitting than teaching but, alas, such is teaching here. I spent a lot of time at school this week and last organizign lessons and pouring over pages of past NECTA's (the final form 4 exam) to find good homework/practice questions. Sometimes I think that I'm more invested in teaching than any of the students are in learning, but, ultimately, I know that's not true. It's just hard since it's their future that's in the balance. Not mine.
Aside from the venting, class has been continuing well. In my Form 4 classes, we just finished the chapter on Growth. Quiz next week...get ready class! In Form 3, we started on Movement today. We'll be covering movement for a little over 2 weeks and then move onto reproduction, which the NECTA asks a LOT of questions on. I wanted to get started on the topics like reproduction and genetics that the NECTA focuses on. I think my favorite part about this Form 3 class (aside from the fact that they payed really good attention this week....probably because I'm new and they are still interested in seeing how I conduct myself) is the fact that because I'm starting with them so early in the year, I can actually give them a good head start on covering all the topics in Form 3. Since the Form 4's this year only covered less than half the topics in Form 3, it's nice to be able to plan out getting them to complete all the topics.
After school today, I went into the village to pick up a few things and fix my bike. I took it to the fundi (tradesman) and he fixed 2 more punctures...that makes 4 in 2 weeks. There sure are a lot of little thorns at my site. While waiting, I visited one of my favorite mama's, the one who sells eggs. She's never raised her price despite a now increasingly dramatic egg shortage and, despite the fact that she'd closed the shop for her lunch break, she was still more than willing to help me. Sometimes, I need to be reminded how wonderful and generous soem Tanzanians are. So, although she was out of eggs, she asked one of the neighbor boys to find me some and he came back with as many as he could, 6, still for the usual cheap price (200/= each...or about 10 cents). To show her my appreciation, I bought soap and salt from her little shop (usually I got to the main one in town, Mr. Kassedy's, who also happens to be my second headmaster, but I'm sure that she could use the business a lot more than he could.) Afterwards, I stopped by to just say hi to my mango and tomato mama's and then finally picked up chicken soup for my kitten.