vendredi 5 décembre 2008

Learning me some kids

My everyday and official job is as a teacher. There are many facets to being a peace corps volunteer; every volunteer has their "primary project" and their "secondary project." The former is your official assignment - be it teacher, health volunteer, small business development, agriculture, etc. Your "secondary project" is anything other need your community has that you try to fill outside of y our primary role. So anything i do outside of the school is a secondary project etc. Teaching takes up a lot of time - for instance i have 600 papers to grade this weekend and a two hour lesson to plan. Really, the perk of being a teacher in peace corps is actually having a 9-5 job . The other sectors (health, business development, agriculture, etc) have to kinda wing it. Also, no matter what I say about development , i think teaching is one of those things that can only open doors to people. In Burkina there is a lack of science and math teachers (really a lack of all teachers in all subject and of actual schools in general) so we , as peace corps volunteer teachers, fill that need as well as being a full-time teacher the school doesnt have to pay. So, here are some pictures of me in the classroom learning some kids about plants.

This is me and Marie Sawadogo talking about asexual plant reproduction. My resources as a teacher are scant and include an official Burkinabe text book, some various colored chalk, and a chalkboard.

Probably 12 out of every 90 or so students are girls. Here are three of them from my 6th grade class.

The buildings in the background are our new PlanInternational classrooms. There are super nice and well appreciated. Gotta love acacia trees. I think that one is Acacia senegal.
This is one of my 6th grade classes. There are 98 of them

That is a cluster of Neem (Azadirachta indica) which is a pretty neat tree - its leaves make a very effective insecticide. I heat the leaves and put the infused water around my other trees to keep termites and locusts away. It also helps keep the skeeters away. Oh yeah, and obviously makes for good shade for bikes and old fashioned between classes hanging out.

That is where i spend my days... Im in class 15 hours a week monday through thursday. I meet with each class (i have 2 6th grade, 2 7th grade, and 1 8th grade class) twice a week. Once for one hour and a second time for two hours. I hate teaching a will never ever do it again. Teachers dont get near enough credit for all the shit they have to take from ungrateful teenagers. (However, I do love peace corps/living in a crazy weird context at least half the time and enjoy other volunteers and like hanging out and cooking with my neighbors etc. so there are other things to get me through the week.) I sort of realized recently that I dont blog much about my actual peace corps job so i thought i'd give you guys an idea. Besides, i think the general idea people have about peace corps is that it is development work. In a way, it is - but that slow kind of development that takes generations to see. Peace corps is really more cultural exchange - like . . . wow in Burkina you do things this way?? Well in America we vary the things that we eat so our nutrition is more balanced! etc. Ok, i'm done rambling. Enjoy the pictures.

1 commentaire:

Your Mom a dit…

Becca Boo, the "Your Mom" is for Sarah's PCT entries (although I would proudly claim you as one of my own), but I wanted you to know how much I enjoy your commentaries on Burkina Faso and the Peace Corps experience and how much they helped our whole family get ready for Sarah's entry into the Peace Corps. She gets sworn in as a PCV this week and begins her 2-year adventure. You are a great writer and we look forward to your entries.