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Published: January 13th 2010
Today was the first day of school in Windhoek and the surrounding area. Our schools are located in Katatura which is just on the edge of the city of Windhoek. I am at Moses Garoeb Primary School. In the morning grades 1st, 5th, 6th, and 7th come and then in the afternoon are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. They have to schedule school this way because they have so many kids and the 1st graders are just too tired if they come in the afternoon. This morning they had an assembly in which the students sang praise songs and the National anthem, a scripture was read and prayer. Then students were instructed to go to their classroom from the previous year. The teachers went and got their new class or sent those kids to their new classroom and teacher. For example, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 6E were transferred accordingly to 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D. They only have four 7th grade teachers so the entire day, the HODs (Heads of Departments) worked to divide 6E into all four 7th grade classes. Although I had a classroom of students at the beginning of the day, the list that was developed and finished by the end of the day contained many new students. As of right now, I will have 41 learners (students); 22 boys and 19 girls.
It took around 30 minutes for us to get our class and into our classroom. We did not have any chairs or desks so some of the learners were taken to get some out of a different building while others and I cleaned the room and dusted the set of shelves off. After we got the desks situated into groups of six and eight I went around the room and introduced myself to each learner individually.
My teacher had some business to take care of around the school so she introduced me to the class, gave it over to me and left the room. I was very nervous but was glad for the chance to stretch my teaching wings a bit right off the bat. I started by introducing myself again and writing my name on the board. I told them why I am here, where I am from and then opened it up for them to ask me questions. There were not many hands raised at first but slowly more and more had questions about my family, how many siblings I have, my parents’ names, how old I am, what sports I like, what I study, and where exactly Washington was. I answered most of them but also had them guess some of the answers in groups.
I wanted to hear their names again so I had them stand up and share their name and their favorite subject. It was a wide range from different languages to English, to Math, to Social and Natural Sciences. When they asked about Washington, I drew a very rough map of the United States so that they had an idea of the location and from there we moved south and ended up listing as many South American countries as we could as a group. I am very excited to get started at this school and with these students. They seem very eager to learn from me and I know that I will learn many lessons from them that will be with me forever.
Tomorrow we are headed up to the Northern region of the country. We will be going to Opuwo where there are tent schools for the Nomadic tribes in that area and then we will be going through Etoscha National Park where we hope to see lots of animals and take a ton of pictures. I also hope to do some shopping on this particular excursion as there are street vendors along the way. We even learned some new Otjiherero words and phrases that we may be able to use: Good morning Wa penduka nawa, Thank you Okuhepa, Goodbye/See you later Kara. We will be coming back on Monday and then back to school on Tuesday! So until then…Kara!
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