Thursday, July 13, 2017

#rwanderful: Day 18


Today was Janet and my last day with Bunmi which was so sad. At least she lives in H-town and I can still see her regularly! (Side note: I've already seen her since we've been back. <3)

I started in a Senior 1 class (7th grade), which is a tough place to be as a math teacher. All students take all the subjects through Senior 3 (9th grade), but after that they get placed in a combination. Some examples of combinations are PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) or PMC (Physics, Mathematics, Computer). Hopefully, that makes sense. Each student has their own track that they are on for Senior 4, 5, and 6. What that means for the Senior 1, 2, and 3 math teachers is that there are a lot of students in their classes that do not like mathematics. Hey! This sounds familiar to my first 4 years of teaching.

Most students I spoke with had science in their combination, but math was rarely a subject taken by students after Senior 3. That means there's a lot of students they must teach that don't want to be there or learn their subject matter. I think Charles (Senior 1) and Rodgers (Senior 2 and 3) have really great classroom management skills and lessons because they have to with so many students who dislike their subject matter. John (Senior 4, 5, and 6) could learn a lot of strategies from Charles and Rodgers for his older students. It's much easier to teach students who want to learn your subject than it is to teach students who don't. I've taught both and can definitely speak from experience.

All three math teachers I spent time with are great and have grown a lot in the time I was there. We had many great growth mindset conversations and challenges to continue trying new things and using the internet as a tool. I am so glad I got to spend the extra week there to build deeper relationships and friendships with wonderful teachers and help them to learn and grow in their profession. I loved the way they also challenged me to be a better teacher now that I am home.

A kid gave an example that 1/5 is less than or equal to 0.2. I was so impressed. I wanted to give that kid a high five for thinking outside the box.  

I got to teach this part of the lesson. He liked how I used the board. I used the less than/greater than definitions and kept returning back to them as I taught them graphing on the number line.

After math class, Sam let Jeje, me, and Bunmi watch his Biology class with his senior 6 (12th grade) lesson. We talked about blood, its purpose, and types of cells. He taught class a lot like I teach my classes. It's a discussion as I give the students information. I ask for what they know/remember and then I build off of that and give them new information. Sam is an engaging teacher and you can tell he really loves Biology and his students. At the end of class, he gave a quiz to see what his students learned. Bunmi, Jeje and I took the quiz together, and I think scored 7/10 for what he taught us that day. Pretty good for some misunderstanding of how things were worded and not been in class the previous days. Not going to lie, I was mad I didn't get a perfect score. NERD ALERT! :)

Saying goodbye to Bunmi was hard, but I knew I would see her soon. So glad to have a new Houston friend!

After she left, Janet and I had to teach the leadership class to the Senior 4 students. Picture this: Kids aren't on time, they trickle in a few at a time throughout the first 30 minutes of class, the power goes out in the middle of class so we lose the projector. All things you just have to shrug off and remember that you're in Rwanda and things don't always go as planned. Despite the differences in our surroundings, Janet and I did a really nice job. We focused the Bible passages about resourcefulness and using the gifts God has given to each of us. I think the students really enjoyed being taught by teachers from the US, and we really enjoyed being with them. Janet is the best partner in crime I could have asked for. Having worked with her for three years and had her for a roommate for two, I am blessed to know her beautiful self.

After that, I had practice with the worship team for high school devotions the next morning. All of those kids are great. I wish I could spend all my time getting to know them. My heart is for teenage students to grow and learn in all sorts of ways. It doesn't matter if I'm in the US or Rwanda. Those students are the same, and I enjoy seeing them use the gifts with which God has blessed them. They asked me to lead some songs and that terrified me, but I knew I had some great kids backing me up and would pick up the slack of my lack of experience.

Nelson and Lillian both lead worship! Sweet and precious new friends!

That night was the first in awhile that we were able to relax. We both needed it. It had been a long exhausting fabulous three weeks in Rwanda.

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