A little more thought…

“That’s what you’ll find when you’re starting a project here – one step forward 97 steps back…Perseverance is the key to living here”

It seems that there are some things that I hadn’t considered when I first started this project. The jealousy of the older students being one of those things. I honestly hadn’t thought about it being difficult for them to see me bring finger paints and crayons for the children to work with or sharing chai and mandazi because the school insisted I had to otherwise I couldn’t teach the kids. Clearly I had done no thinking at all…

The art work was torn again, this time into so many pieces it was impossible to salvage it. There were no teachers to supervise the older kids, who kept interrupting my class, standing in the doorway to watch or wandering in to look at what we were doing, or, as it turned out, nicking the mandazi and stealing the pens. What must it have been like to watch my class learn with resources and care and access to materials they themselves had never had? I feel a bit of an idiot to be honest. I should have worked with the school more closely, made sure they explained to the rest of the students why I was there, what the plans are for the future, maybe even got a couple of the older kids to help. I’m quite sure they’ve been told nothing. No one would have thought it important to inform them Eventually I would like to extend this project to involve the whole Deaf Unit, ensure everyone can have a fulfilling and interesting learning experience, that the classrooms all have visual aids, that everyone who teaches them can sign properly (me included), that there’s money for school trips, desks and chairs for every student.

I also hadn’t until recently fully realised unto what extent the laissez-faire attitude of the school. I’ve been cancelled on more than one occasion for now what looks to have been spurious reasons. My posters and visual aids are still not back so I think I will say goodbye to them and get some more. On finding one of the headmasters refreshing under a tree yesterday, I attempted to speak to him about the artwork but was met only with a “pole sana” and advised it was another teacher I needed to speak to. The other teacher offered to have the meeting at 7pm on Saturday…

Luckily Amy’s always up for being a sounding board, konyagi drinking partner, sharer of woes and triumphs. After picking me up and dusting me off we made a plan: first I will contact 2 interpreters I know here who can help me talk to the whole Deaf Unit and explain my role, what I have planned, and that by tearing down the visual aids they are ensuring that no one including themselves can use and benefit from them; second, the TSL Dictionary for Children I have copied for each student in my class I should copy for every student, all 72 of them, hopefully combating some feelings of jealousy that may be happening; third, I will have a rota of older students to help me per class, involving them more, helping with classroom management etc re: problem of jealousy. I’m also going to look for new premises so that I can bring some consistency to this project and the children can rely on when I’m coming…

So that’s the plan Stan. Definitely should have thought about this more in the beginning but think it’s more than rescueable. Steep learning curves out here. Just need to make sure from now on I give everything a little more thought.

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4 thoughts on “A little more thought…

  1. “What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genuine power and magic in it :)” Keep it up Kirsty!!!!! Xx

  2. Kirst there is no way you can change everything overnight it is going to take a couple of days! Two more people at work have started to read your blogg and think it’s amazing so if you receive a comment from someone called Jean she is a fan! Keep smiling and if it all get’s too much just think ‘faux tudor’ and ‘nice bread’ lots of love from your Mother xxx

    • I know, I know but good lord it’s frustrating! Yes have already said hi to Jean! Ah what I wouldn’t give for some nice bread – or maybe a glass of champers and a lounge disco. See you soon xx

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