Friday, 17 August 2012

David's first week teaching

I'm at 'Votech' a vocational or trade school of about 400 students. I'm here to teach math as part of the school's mission of providing an academic foundation for the students. I had no idea which math I would be teaching but I had free rein to teach anything this first week so I've included 'countdown' (a popular TV quiz game in UK) and  the relative populations and areas of Am.Samoa, UK, and USA. The teaching day has been divided into 6 supposedly equal periods this week. in fact they are not equal because the bell is rung manually and depends on someone remembering! This results in some periods being 15 minutes longer than others. Scheduled times are several minutes out because the clock-in clock is wrong and the persons who are authorised to adjust it are not available! . Not all students were here from day 1 and many are switching courses but things seem to be settling down now. Go with the flow! In addition to my math students I've been teaching some business students in their teacher's absence but fortunately he's back now. I teach basic algebra (2 classes) and precalculus and calculus! This is optimistic to say the least since even my best students are starting from little and wrong! Academics is a low priority for the students; much more important are 'music' and football(American) and there's a game tomorrow starting 8am versus Leone, the village to the west of the island where there are 4 worldteach volunteers so I expect to see some of them tomorrow. The week finished with a 'pep rally' this afternoon. This was an assembly of the whole school and a chance for students to let of steam with their football chants which they've been practicing all this week (the school is divided by years: freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior which correspond roughly to 4th 5th and 6th form) The chants are very varied and rhythmic with clapping and very very loud.. All about building the school spirit. 'from the east to the west, the wildcats are best!' We are the 'wildcats -yellow and black colors. Go wildcats!  David

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