Felicia Black
Felicia Black
South Africa 2011- 2012
I am a recent Belmont graduate (Class of 2011) and I am going back to South Africa. I first went to South Africa in the fall of my junior year at Belmont and I had so much fun I decided to apply for the Lumos award and have been lucky enough to go again! Check out my previous blog at http://coming2sa.blogspot.com/ I will also be updating that blog as I return to South Africa so check ‘em out! Read More About Felicia →

Home Alone

Friday 5 August

I am in heaven right now. I have this whole house/apartment/whatever you want to call it to myself. Don’t get me wrong I love the girls I live with but I am one who enjoys her personal space and here this isn’t much of it. So I am loving the fact that everyone is Cape Town having a grand time, I’m sure but I’m just here chilling and relaxing and I couldn’t ask for more. I took a ridiculously hot bath without worrying about when I needed to get out and blasted some Jason Mraz without having to worry about bothering someone else. My picture of heaven J It doesn’t take much in life to make me happy. I’ll probably go to bed early just because I can. I don’t have to think about noise because it will be quiet, blessedly quiet and I frinkin love it!

I needed this kind of day too because my morning wasn’t the greatest. Basically today my goal was to talk to my teachers and plan for next week. Since next week there is a school holiday on Monday and a public holiday on Tuesday we won’t be at school until Wednesday which means I only have two classes to plan for. This is perfectly fine with me because I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now. The classes are huge, there’s the language barrier and I’m finding that I have to fight the teachers as well who are the very people I’m trying to help and then in turn of course help the learners. Both my teachers said to me today that the learners are ‘slow.’ I didn’t know what to say. But how can you expect for students to learn if their teachers have such negative views of them. I’m praying that I will never say that about my learners and always have patience. I have to have an infinite amount of patience to do this job because it is no joke. It is really hard and I know already how easy it is to get frustrated so maybe I should cut my teachers a break and just assume that they are just as overwhelmed as I am. I would just hope that their outlook would be more positive because what are fighting for if all you have are negative thoughts?

I’m trying not to let the teachers bother me and do the best that I can. Next week is a pretty simple topic: shapes. I need to look at the pervious annual exams to see what questions apply to the topic of shapes and hopefully use those in our lessons because the learners have trouble with answering questions correctly simply because they don’t understand what the question is asking. So we’re trying to use as many of the exam questions as possible so that they are familiar with the questions and how to answer them. The real fun for me though will come when I get to run my own workshops because I feel very inhibited by my teachers and their negative attitudes. It’s also hard for me because I’m not sure about resources. GVI is very limited in what they have but the school is even worse. The copy machine has been broken for weeks now so they’ve had to go to other schools and ask to print a minimal amount there. I’m still not sure whose resources I can take advantage of because I would love to play games with the learners but most of the things I want to do like bingo take time, effort and paper that may not be available to me. I’ll have to talk to Mel more about this so I can understand what I can and cannot do.

Next week is shapes and my main role in the classroom will be to help with measuring. They’ll be drawing shapes but apparently they’re not really familiar with how to measure things so I’ll be going around the room and helping with that. I am constantly amazed at how low the level is because in my mind drawing a line that’s 3cm long is such an elementary thing. I could be wrong but I would think that by sixth grade they’d be doing more advanced stuff that this. It’s hard to know since it’s been so long since I was in sixth grade. Anyways, that will be my role plus helping with the exam questions which I will hopefully find before the weekend is out though I guess I have time since I won’t be in school til Wednesday. Hooray weekend!

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