This week Catherine was away for training in Central Uganda so I filled her spot teaching in our two local teacher’s colleges with Katie, our awesome Peace Corps Volunteer.
This afternoon we were at the government teacher’s college. It’s exam week (end of term exams start tomorrow), so the student teachers seem quite preoccupied and not as committed as they should be. We had planned a lesson about reading aloud to children and how to conduct a ‘Read Aloud’ lesson. Of course, the content of what we had to teach was in my opinion far more important than exam preparation.
For our second session there were only two students in the front row about 10 minutes after the lesson should have started. Where was everyone else? Studying in the library, revising in the computer room… well go and get them!
The small crowd of students under the mango tree slowly increased. Katie began the lesson whilst I hovered to the side, barking at and cross-examining the late-comers.
Why are you late? I was showering. Showering? During lesson time? There are plenty of other times you should be showering!
Why are you late? I was copying a friend’s notes. Copying! When you should be in class! Sit down!
Why are you walking slowly when you are late to class? Move those legs!
I felt like a character out of a Roald Dahl novel and I couldn’t stop myself!
Later in the lesson I modelled reading aloud with Giraffes Can’t Dance – a beautifully written children’s book about poor Gerald who at the beginning fumbles over his feet, but by the end is a beautiful dancer! The students were enthralled during the reading and we shared some beautiful teaching moments together.
I asked a couple of questions after the book, which was a little enlightening, but also quite frightening, to discover the lack of comprehension abilities of our future primary school teachers.
We then gave them the opportunity to practice reading aloud to each other; something that seemed very new to them. We have a long way to go to work on our fluency… but it was a good start.