Sunday, March 16, 2014

School Days

A new term has started at the school and with a new term means a new school. The old school building had about six classrooms, and one small room for nursery students. The school now is much larger and very beautiful. It has separate sections for primary and nursery students, has two stories, over twenty rooms, and a dining hall. It does not look like a typical Ugandan primary school, but rather it reflects more the name I prefer to call it- Saint Mary’s University. School enrollment has increased by over a hundred students this term and a grade was added this year so the school now has Nursery baby, middle, and top classes as well classes for primary one thru six. Towards the end of last term I began to visit the school every afternoon, and really enjoyed my time there with the teachers, administration, and students. Subsequently this term I became a primary one co-teacher. Although I do not have a teaching degree I have been able to help out with art and PE. (Hand tracing and valentine’s hearts with tissue paper have been done so far.) There are about forty students in my class and slowly, slowly I hope to learn all their names. The first few days the kids did not know what to expect seeing a “mzungu” in their class, but after three weeks now they have gotten used to seeing my face around and often fight over who gets to hold my hand during PE, the ones who did not get to me fast enough often will grab any part of my arm they can.
The headmistress was in America for the first two weeks of the new term so I took over her office and become headmistress in absentia. With this came the making of bulletin boards, bathroom signs, and door signs. Her office door faces the hallway and each day children leaving school would peer in wondering what was going on. After inviting one child in one day to help me color and paste paper together it became a routine and by the end of the first week my room was filled with around 15 children all wanting to color, shade, and decorate posters and scraps of paper for their classroom.
I have been spending so much time at the school in the afternoon that my fellow clinic co-workers sometimes wonder if I am a nurse or a teacher by profession. Whoops. Anyway, send any art and craft ideas or easy PE games my way as I am struggling to remember some of the things I did way back when in elementary school!

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