Monday, August 14, 2006

Proposition number two

Foot bath
Originally uploaded by mchughtie.
Lower River Division Darra
West District Pakalinding
Upper Basic School

Dear Mariama,
I am very glad to write you this letter. My dear is me: Abdou K. Kinteh how are you my dear am very glad and so happy to write you this letter my dear Mariama. The reason why am writing this letter to you is just about a short question and the quistion is all about love. I just want to tell you how much I love you. I love you 1,000. I kiss you 99%. I love you and I want to marraige you. Yas or no. Me and you are lovers. Me and you will MARRIAGE. I love you mariama. 1,000 tims.

May I marriage you?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Learning curves

Baby Bath
Originally uploaded by mchughtie.
Instead of taking some overland trip to Guinea, or hanging out in my hut for the summer, I took a job at the Gambia College teaching a class on "English Methodology" for the future primary teachers of TG. With 275 students and only a box of chalk for resources, I'm a little overwhelmed. The past year has been spent in and out of classrooms, doing low-key professional development for groups of 5-20 teachers, so standing in front of 60 PTC candidates and lecturing is a little intimidating, even in my tall shoes. What gets to me is the attitudes of students. I suppose I naively believed that people enrolled in a program to become teachers would be looking forward to teaching, but many of these students are doing it as a last resort, and they have just returned from a year of "student teaching," which really means being posted anywhere in the country as a full time classroom teacher with very little support from the college or the school. Here's a taste of how they were feeling the first week of class with me after returning from this experience:
"The most importan thing leared in the field is that this qualified teacher are not ready to work when they have a lot in their classroom. Is battle for us to be prepared everyday. " This sentiment was echoed throughout the responses to my question, "What did you learn about teaching while in the field this year?" Here's a couple more: "I learned that teacher trainees has no say in the school administration because we were isolated and stigmatized." "Teaching isn't liked even by some qualified teachers. Reason: Many teachers are either dodging classes or seeking for employment elsewhere." I have to go plan for tomorrow, still not sure what the best use of time is here.