Not a day too soon, the reflection sessions have taken a turn for the positive. Yesterday, some of us struggled to connect with a handful of our students, especially the older ones. This prompted us to discuss our role here as a teacher and what we expect to gain from this experience. Today we were able to connect better with our students, which in turn improved our moods immensely. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to say our highs out numbered the lows; which was a high in itself.
In addition to connecting with the students, some of us were able to connect with the Heritage teachers and staff members. For example, some of us talked with the shy but loving school nurse, Joyce. She shared stories about her life including how she started a school with 5 students, which has grown to educate over 150. These interactions have prompted some thought provoking conversations along with more opportunities to learn about both the staff members and the country of Ghana.
A noteworthy conversation took place between Molly and a professor, Adison, and we found it to be eye opening.
Recalled by Molly:
“Normally at home when I tell people about majoring in Animal Behavior they immediately ask me how to solve problems with their dogs. It was funny, because when I explained to Adison what my major was, the first thing he said was, “I have a dog, it bit me, how do I stop this?”
We all found this to be significant as well as slightly comical, as it shows us that around the world similar conversations are simultaneously taking place.
As mentioned in the previous blog post, we are not only responsible for teaching our own classes, but also reading sessions. These reading sessions consist of 2 to 3 Heritage students reading with 1 to 2 Obrofo (white people aka our group). Some students are at a fairly advanced level while others are still struggling to sound out words and understand what they are reading. While some of us find it exhausting, others find it exhilarating. In reflection, we have discussed how we can cater to these students and facilitate reading comprehension for both types of students. Hopefully we will be able to implement these strategies successfully on Monday.
A high for the day shared among some in the group, was the “aha” moment at one of our group reading sessions. We were reading Star Belly Sneetches, an excellent Dr. Seuss book that we highly recommend, when we experienced the kids understanding the moral of the story. Brief summary: one sneetch has a star, one does not. They end up switching back and forth at the expense of their wallets only to realize they are not superior or inferior just because of their differing appearances. When we asked what the kids learned from the story, one kid said, “I learned to love myself and my neighbor.” Perfection. Well-done Dr. Seuss.
Tomorrow we’ll be doing a life skills workshop with the 12th graders in which we’ll be discussing topics including HIV/AIDS and Life After College.
Samantha, Jennifer and the Obrofo Gang
* Love in Fante (phoenetics: ordough)