Several activities took place at the school. One thing that the girls were able to do was teach English to the students.
Lindsey and I had a group of about 15 fourth graders. They were so cute in their colorful school outfits. Before classes started, all the girls began learning names. What a task! There were so many kids, and on top of that, they were constantly moving around. This is a typical scenario of how it would play out:
Team Indo: “What’s your name?”
Kid: [says his name, but very softly/shyly]
Team Indo: “What? Say that again.”
Kid: [repeats name, again very quietly]
Team Indo: [feeling the need to take a stab at it, attempts to repeat the name, or what fragments she heard of it, but butchers the pronunciation]
Group of kids: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….Noooooo!” [they all proceed to shout the correct pronunciation of the name]
Team Indo: [taking another attempt, now trying to muddle the name from the shout. Again, gets it wrong]
Group of kids: “HAHAHAHAHAHA. Noooo!” [they shout the name again]
Team Indo: [using skills, deduction, and process of elimination, finally gets the correct pronunciation]
Or on the slight chance the name was familiar to our culture, the conversation went more like this:
Team Indo: “What’s your name?”
Team Indo: [sigh of relief] “Dave. Now that I can do”
Now, I don’t know exactly how much English we actually taught. They knew a lot of words already, thanks to Krystal and Heather coming a few months earlier. Their vocabulary was pretty extensive, but every once in a while, we’d find a word to stump them. Usually it was a word that was not phoenetically pronounced and so it was harder to conjure in the mind. But, for the kids, hearing our pronunciations and sentences was really helpful for them. After spending about an hour learning their names, because after learning how to say them all, we had to remember their face too, we played lots of word games and songs. Hangman was very popular, as was pictionary. We did a lot of Rock-paper-scissors and Heads-up-seven-up too. Girls in some of the other classes played Bingo. We also sang lots of Sunday School songs, like I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N (teaching letters), Father Abraham (human body vocabulary), the Jesus version of the Hokey Pokey, and the Lord’s Army.
We also played Simon Says, but they didn’t quite understand the concept of “Simon didn’t say,” so by the end, the game had turned into “Lindsey Says” and the kids would just do whatever she said. There was no hesitation whatsoever when she announced, “Walk like a chicken!”
During our teaching time, we were able to really connect with the kids and that really helped when we segued into our ministry presentation each day. Also during the teaching time, we exhausted the whole room’s supply of dry-erase markers by the second day (but there, they don’t just throw them away when they dry out. Their markers are refillable! How genius is that!)
The rooms were warm. The fans in the room didn’t do a whole lot other than circulate the warm air. Regardless of the heat, teaching was something to look forward to because the gleam in the kids’ eyes was so bright. They all treasured the value of education so dearly, and made the most of it. What a concept. If only that mentality took place in the States as well.
I don’t consider teaching a career option for me, but the week I spent doing it was pretty awesome.