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Published: January 20th 2008
Our teacher has a box!
A song, to the tune of Old MacDonald, that encourages children to listen.
Two of my friends in Robe have set up a private training institute for Kindergarten teachers. When they first told me about it, I was impressed by their vision and the fact that they had recognised a gap in the market and acted on it. They are using an old clinic and have refurbished the classrooms. They asked if I would help them by teaching some classes, so I spend Saturday mornings teaching three groups. I don’t get paid, but the guys occasionally invite me out for a drink or dinner, which is a great deal. The sessions are about how to teach English to kindergarten children (not an area am I particularly skilled in, but thank goodness for the Internet), which I have based mainly on a phonics programme from the UK. One of the main aims of my session, as well as improving the students’ English, is to teach them some games, songs and activities. As the students have come up through the traditional Ethiopian education system, which is largely didactic, I think they are slightly wary of my approach. Yesterday was the second time I have taught them and they responded better to my suggestion that we go
outside to play a name game, followed by learning “Our teacher has a box” to the tune of Old MacDonald has a farm.
Today is Timkat. Last year I managed to see the parade through town, but missed it today. I did, however, wander down to the Fountain where people were still gathered. There was some drumming and singing and, of course, the fountain was working. As usual, I soon had a group of children gathered around me -good for my Afaan Oromo, especially as I was in a very tolerant mood. It was also good to get out in the sun for a while - we have had three or four days of rain, which is early! Many colleagues seem to think that I will appreciate the weather as I am from the UK! No! Although it is quite nice to get a brief respite from the dust occasionally.
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