It is Wednesday! Half way through the work week. That is a great thing and also a bad thing. It means that I only have a few days left of lesson planning and teaching to do this week, but it also means as each day passes by it is getting closer and closer to the end of my time here in South Africa that I do not want to think about.
In the last few days I realized how much I have taken lesson planning for granted. I have been used to teaching the same content and curriculum over the last few years and just revamping and adding things or deleting things from the curriculum. While I am here in South Africa I have been lesson planning and doing work every night. Back home I feel like I probably would have complained about the amount of time I was putting into planning my lessons but I have enjoyed it. It has been refreshing to teach new content and curriculum. There have been some great lessons that I have taught and then there have been some lessons after there were done that I wish I could have had the chance to reteach and make them more interactive and hands-on.
I am trying to integrate hands on activities, group learning, and student centered teaching into my lessons here at LEAP. Somedays I do that better than other days.
Today marks Day 4 of Living in Langa. I will try and give you a sense of what my days are mostly like. I apologize for the Day in the life format that I will be writing this in... :-)
Each morning I wake up at 6:00 AM and get ready for the day. My host family consists of a grandmother, her two daughters, and then the two grand-daughers. The family is incredible. They are extremely nice and generous and a pleasure to talk to. It feels as if I am home with my family. It is easy to see that the family values education with the two youngest grand-daughters who are striving to get an exceptional education. I leave the house around 7:00 AM and walk to where the LEAP bus picks up the learners in the morning.
The bus ride is about 15-20 minutes depending on traffic in the mornings. The first class begins at 8:15 but I only have that for two days during the week. I am teaching in a grade 9,10,11 class and observing my mentor teacher in her Grade 12 class. The two weeks of teaching has been a great experience. I have learned different classroom management styles, experiemented with different ways to teach lessons and conduct labs.
The last class finishes at 5:15 and then we go straight to the bus to take it to Langa. The ride home sometimes is longer due to traffic. I get dropped off at the same bus stop and then go home. I haven't had a chance to explore Langa but I did get a great opportunity last night to talk to two LEAPSA's about Langa and the different struggles and hardships that different people face in the tonwship. I don't want to come off as comparing a tonwship to some living conditions back hom but it was very interesting to hear how people in both places have the same mindsets and ways of thinking about things. I will go into this in more details in a follow-up post.