Monday, 4 February 2013

School school school

So it’s been three weeks back at school now (only two of actual teaching) and it already feels like forever.  With the library project moving forward finally and now another way to continue raising money to be able to purchase enough textbooks to actually stock the library…things feel good.  It feels like stuff is actually happening…which is a new and rewarding feeling for being in this country.  And so, as for actual teaching, things are going really well so far.  I think that I really do believe what they say about being a teacher…that it takes about a year to feel like you really have a grasp here and are being efficient.  And so, while it is a nice feeling, it’s a bit disconcerting knowing that in less than a year, all of this knowledge and understanding and skill that I’ve developed for succeeding here will be defunct.  I will never use over half the techniques that I’ve honed here ….such as little ways to make sure that the students ACTUALLY come to class when you ask them to change classrooms instead of climbing through windows or pretending to have to use the toilet.  Or ways of encouraging them to ask you questions and come in for tutoring since they are scared to come to the office because they will either be yelled at or sent on an errand.  Or how to best get their attention when five minutes into lecture they are already zoning out or trying to finish that English exercise that they were too lazy to do yesterday(the answer for this one is to take an insanely chalky eraser and whack them on the head with it….not only do they HATE getting their school uniforms dirty and consider cleanliness actually higher than godliness, but their hair is so dark that the white chalk makes a huge, hard to remove print).  So, in summary: sad to leave soon, feeling good about projects, and proud of my accomplishments so far despite how little they may be.

As for the library, the fundi started work this week and is working on putting cement around the outside and pulling out the windows to rotate them.  We had to revise the budget again because most of the windows broke when pulling them out.  Between this and all of the changes that we made when we reviewed the budget last weekend, it accounted for about half of the money that I'd allocated in the grant for books.  Therefore, our book budget as decreased greatly and I'm already trying other methods to collect more money so that we can help bridge that.  There is an American NGO called Tanzania Reads that works with TZ schools and PCV's  helping them collect money to increase Tanzanian youths' access to literature. 

Also, this week my headmaster is traveling to Dar-es-Salaam to help transport a shipment of donated books from a British organization called READ International.  I found out about this organization through other PCV's here.  They donate books to schools all around Tanzania and even implement libraries in the Singida region.  I emailed them a request, explaining our project, and they agreed to help.  Between the time that we started talking and they finally had an opening for us to collect the books that aligned with our schedules, it was February and they promised us 11 boxes of books.  So, this Tuesday, my headmaster is going to Dar to pick up the boxes and ship them on a bus back to our school.  I'm really excited about this, as are all of my teachers, and happy that my headmaster was so willing to go.  I'm not quite ready to travel past Katesh yet and having to escort boxes around Dar sounds horrid.  I'm lucky that my headmaster is so enthusiastic and supportive of this project.

No comments:

Post a Comment