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Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sophie-Alice and Megan our Volunteers

Two more Project Trust joined St Zoes in September and this is an entry which they sent me to tell supporters what is is like.

Sophie is teaching Senior 2 English and Literature and Megan is teaching Senior 1 English and Literature. And together we are sharing Senior 3 English Language. We decided to start with Secondary teaching so that we both got used to African English and we were able to adjust our nice Yorkshire accents to make it easier for the students to understand.
When we first began teaching we both had quite similar difficulties in understanding how St Zoe's worked. We were both very puzzled when students would randomly stand up and leave the classroom without warning. At first we thought our lessons must have been really boring, turns out they just wanted to go for a 'short call'. It was also quite hard for us when a student would say "Madam, we have not understood" ten minutes before the end of a lesson, leaving us with no time to go back and explain.
Megan and Sophie Alice with on of the teachers
Sophie also has difficulties reaching the top half of the board. Although Megan found it hilarious, it was quite embarrassing for Sophie when she had to stand on a chair to write the mid term exam. It was even more embarrassing when she fell off the chair, much to Senior 2's amusement.
However, after the first few weeks, teaching gradually started becoming more and more natural. Megan has found that Senior 1 are understanding her much better now and are producing some really good work. Their mid term results showed that they had understood well and have been working really hard in their last term. Sophie has been trying to get Senior 2 to develop their creative skills, both in poetry and creative writing. Although hard work at first, they are gradually beginning to grasp the concept of imagination.
Megan in the school shop
We have also been trying to introduce a drama club for the students in their after school time. We had one really good and interesting session, however the following weeks it seems to have petered out. We're hoping to introduce it from the beginning of term so that it can be timetabled.
St Zoes Kitchen. This really is not good enough for the 450 children it feeds
We have been teaching in the still to be completed classrooms which has posed some challenges for both of us. It can be quite difficult for the students to understand and hear us over the noise from the classes being taught next door. One of Sophie’s lessons was interrupted by a herd of goats, followed by an even bigger herd of screaming primary children, as they charged past the classrooms.
As well as teaching, we have both had a positive experience of the school so far thanks to the very friendly and welcoming teachers and students. Senior 3 especially never fail to make us both smile. Next term we are hoping to begin being more involved in the primary section. We have arranged to help with Maths, English, PE and Art with various different classes. We are looking forward to teaching primary and getting to know more of the students. 

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