Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Boring Work Update

Since we last updated, the school year has gotten off to a fast start. We've both been pretty busy and happy to be so though what we've been doing isn't always the most exciting work. Though we are not here to do the work of our schools' administrative assistants, it can be difficult not to provide a lot of help in this area as we are more proficient (and most importantly fast) when it comes to anything involving computers. Actually all of the admin assistants are pretty proficient on the computer, but time management can be an issue for some of them. Anyway, this means that we've been helping out some which the schools really appreciate but is leading to us being asked to do things again and again. One thing we've been talking about doing to help in this area is creating templates and organizing them well on the computer so that in the future people don't have to retype everything. This helping with administrative work led me to work both Saturday and Sunday this weekend for a few hours at one of the schools to help them have everything prepared for the year. It's kind of crazy how they have to have all their work done now (time tables, schedules, inventories) for the opening of school because they are always getting inspected while the 'good' school still hasn't done their time table for the year yet which means that teachers just kind of decide when to teach randomly.

I've also been busy cleaning up and organizing the library at one school. I have a table to sit in their now and made pictures for all the initial consonants and consonant blends (tl, sw, kg etc.) in Setswana that I put up on the wall. Now I have to do English. One of the teachers who hasn't talked to me much asked me to explain the new lesson plan format to him so that was a victory. I've gotten educators to facilitate two after school clubs with me. And I had my first meeting of my teacher research seminar today. It's hard to tell how it went. There were 13 educators there, mostly because the one school that is hosting required their teachers to attend (though some of them were absent) so it was them and 4 educators from other schools. Some people seemed really interested but most didn't really show much emotion. It was mostly me talking and explaining what teacher research is and what we'll be doing this year so there wasn't that much time for participation. We'll see how it goes next time. I am a bit nervous because though I'm structuring it over the course of a year, I am requiring a bit of work from everyone (they have to write a paper and present it). We'll see how it goes.

James has been busy with much of the same stuff. He just discovered another messy library to organize as we're receiving some books that the old volunteers got donated soon. He's been setting up e-mails (or as they like to call them, websites) for everyone at the middle school because they now have the internet.

On Friday we're off for our IST (a Peace Corps training) for a week. It will be fun though weird to see volunteers we haven't seen since September again. It's weird to think that in just about two months my parents will be coming to visit and then in another couple of months we'll be off to Liberia for Matt's wedding and then Thom will be coming. I think the next year is going to fly by.

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