End of teaching schedule
on Marika VSO-ing in Namibia (Namibia), 11/Oct/2010 17:23, 34 days ago
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The temperatures have reached 39°C, meaning I’m becoming increasingly less productive in the afternoons, increasingly intolerable of the half an hour commute to and from Mavuluma and 20 minute walk into town, both with minimal shade en route. It feels unusual working in this heat rather than being on holiday in Greece and having the sea to cool down in, where here the temperature doesn’t really drop literally until sunset and not much longer before. Fortunately, I plan to reduce the number of early mornings and commutes to Mavuluma and I’ve got my fingers crossed that today was my last dark-morning wake as the Grade10’s had their Mathematics exams and hopefully the last time I’ll be found teaching on the weekend as I did this past one. I had the opportunity to feedback on the exam papers as comment sheets are asked to be filled in by teachers. The Maths staff at Mavuluma gladly left it for me to do andI’m hopeful that these comments have a chance of being taken on board. There were a significantly large number of language errors and instances of ambiguous questioning, for example, asking to calculate the ‘average’ rather than specifying the ‘mean’. It reminded me of the suggestion atour vso conference that we need to get volunteers in at these higher levels within the Ministry of Education for example.So, I’m currently taking pleasure in working even more independently i.e. without a teaching timetable to dictate my week (more working from home I hope) and using the time trying to prepare for the 6 workshops I am planning for teachers of Grades 5-12 beginning next week, after having my proposals offunding accepted for N$36 500 (roughly equivalent to just over £3000) from ETSIP. I’m finding myself to be a lot more productive than I expected working from home. The most time-consuming thing so far has been the approval and requisition forms that need to pass through the inefficient system (to be kind) of the Ministry of Education, or in fact, anything that needs to go through them. I’m still receiving texts of thanks from teachers who are only just receiving the revision packs I sent out in the middle of August. I’m now wondering how many letters of invite will be lost in translation this week too. I made a visit to a Teacher’s Union gathering on Saturday to ‘celebrate’ (mostly consisted of speeches) International Teacher’s Day that passed on the 5th October where the schools closed for the day, in order to try and get some letters perhaps more directly to their intended destinations, even if more informally. I’ve spent lots of lovely chill-out time with non-vso ex-pats this week; I’ve become a weekend regular at the lodge swimming pool now for cooling down and have a little luxury of a fan in my room to help try to ignore the heat.