Thursday, 26 October 2017

Day 3: in full swing

Today was the coolest day (in terms of temperature) we have experienced so far, making our second day teaching at JTR easier. It was also made simpler by the fact that we were now aware of what worked and what didn’t. Again we taught a mixture of arts and craft and English, using children’s books such as, ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, ‘ Elmer the Elephant’ and ‘The Bear and the Piano’, and getting them to do drawings and rhyming games. On arrival in every class we were met by a chorus of “Good morning Aunties and Uncles”, making it very difficult for Mme Desmarchelier or Mr Bowen to sneak in and see what we were doing as one of the kids would notice them out of the corner of their eye and start the whole class off. We also found ourselves swamped by excited pupils, wanting to get as close to us as possible, which takes a bit of getting used to but is very sweet. When teaching Prep 4-6 we found that the pupils were very enthusiastic when it came to reading aloud in front of the class and even answering some questions. They particularly loved games such as, ‘Simon Says’, especially when it was their turn to give the orders: hands high in the air, standing up in their seats and clamouring to be picked; until we said " Simon says be quiet and sit down"! As well as teaching Prep 4-6 Dulcie, Eli and Xavier braved prep 2, 4 years old, where they were regaled with an endless repertoire of nursery rhymes. I am looking forward to more days like this, honing my skills, teaching the kids and having fun.


Today, we started teaching lessons at the Ballanta Academy. We had an insightful 3 hours filled with the sweet tones of beginner saxophonists' interpretations of twinkle twinkle little star echoing through the streets of Freetown. After lunch we headed back to the villa and had a relaxing afternoon sleeping before going to the British Council for a gig. The concert started with a class of 11 year-old singing various songs and transitioned into a mix of incredibly loud brass bands, unaccompanied Bach, and the grooviest version of Take Five I've ever heard. The band - 'Groovy Colours' set was full of huge synth solos, funky bass riffs and our driver and student at the BAM, Musa teaching Xav, Chloe, Katie and I how to dance back stage! 

Will- BAM

It was another great day for all, with Mr Bowen being used as cover teacher for a class of secondary students whose teacher had not appeared, and with me playing nurse to a young student who had collapsed and fainted in JTR! Whoever said teaching was a boring job! The concert was great tonight and beautifully ended with our musicians leading the singing of the Salonian national anthem. Proud does not start to express how I feel being with our group! 

Over and out for today, another day beckons.