Student Teachers: are my sense of inspiration!
I have consistently been thinking this country is 50 years behind the USA in terms of cultural/social, education and business development. I believe they are making slow but sure progress. I have had many nay sayers try to warn me away from this hope. I know they are trying to protect me from the sort of hope that distorts reality and pushes one to waste time and energy, so I don’t outright dismiss the message. However, today I feel my hope and belief have been confirmed.
As all readers of this blog know, my school has consistently and persistently deprived 900 students of a required computer education. The school won’t maintain or buy computers, provide text books, provide notebooks, and finally just started calling the required computer class – free time.
So now, two student teachers are sent to Kwena Sereto to teach computer awareness. I ask them how they are going to do this in light of all missing materials. They say they don’t know, but they will do their best – which almost always means they will do nothing.
The first day of class the students come and stand around because there are no chairs in the computer lab. The student teachers send them to their previous classroom to get chairs. Then the teacher realizes the students can’t take notes because they were not provided notebooks for the class (notebooks are issued by the school). So the teachers make handouts to give the students, but are told they can not make copies because there is not enough copy paper to give handouts to the students.
I’m just waiting – hoping they will get mad and cause a commotion and demand justice be done for these students, but I fear they too will give up. BUT NEITHER THING HAPPENS – INSTEAD
THEY FOUND A WAY TO TEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I felt like I was in one of those teachers movies I have on my wish list (if anyone has one of those teacher movies I would really really like to have them here).
The student teachers wrote their lessons in Power Point, got a projector and used their own computer to show the lessons. They searched high and low to find 23 books so two students could read and share a book in class. They were extremely high energy and found ways to get the students to call back answers that was significantly more meaningful and likely to stick than just answering a question in a class. They had one student at a time come up to the projector/computer station and were teaching Excel. They were teaching how to write formula’s and the kids were on the edge of their chairs begging if they could be the next one to work on the computer. This from a bunch of kids that would rather have their leg broken than go in front of a class and perform.
I am practically in tears writing this because I am so so happy to see student teachers coming here with an idea to teach! Universities here are really teaching teachers how to teach! These two young men were persistent and they are succeeding.
I am the person who gets to be inspired today! These student teachers have given me new energy and directed me to go back and rethink how to help here. I know it can be done now.
THANK YOU – Vusimuzi Bauka Muchipela and Ttshepho LeKau for your excellent work and your good attitude. Botswana future looks much brighter with you as teachers in our Botswana schools!