Tuesday, 24 January 2012

What's it like in America?

I don’t even know where to start haha. I learned so much more about my students today! I brought in pictures from home to share so during reading time each group came to me and I told them about myself and Ohio/America and they asked me questions. I asked them their names and tried my best to pronounce them. One child I could not get so the whole class was coaching me haha All of them thought that I lived next store to someone famous. Sorry guys not in Hudson Ohio haha. One girl asked me to do her one favor. She told me I had to promise her. I told her I can’t promise, but I will try and help. She then asked pretty pretty please if I could take her back to America with me. She is the same girl from yesterday that I talked with after school. The kids were amazed that it was snowing and that it took me 2 days to get here. I showed them on the map where I lived and where they lived. I explained to them that I flew to London which was seven hours then to South Africa which was 12. They were also VERY interested in school balls/dances. This is probably because their first one is coming up.
The hardest part about today was control. There are 35 children and they are a rowdy bunch. I watched the full day and took lots of notes so when I start teaching full time I know how the teacher deals with discipline and to make sure I use the right terms so they understand me haha
The most exciting part of the day was that the children had lessons in Xhosa (which as some clicks) and Afrikaans(2 of 11 languages spoken in South Africa.) I learned along with them. It was sooo cool. Xhosa was harder because it moved fast and was taught by another teacher who came to the room. Afrikaans was taught by my mentor teacher and they were learning words like kat, man, and can. They are the same in English, but the /a/ is pronounced differently. Some words that are different are jas which is jacket, lap which is cloth, nat, which is wet, and dak which is roof. Tomorrow I am helping out with tap dancing class after school! I am soooo EXCITED!! I have tapped since age three. I actually talked to the teacher who is doing it. She is a grade three teacher. She said she has an extra pair of tap shoes and she has never taught tap before so she would love for me to help! I also will be teaching my first lesson on Friday over bullying : )
After school we went up town. I got a cell phone and we made friends with the girl who was selling the phones. She said to come back and she could show us all the good places to go! Yea She also gave me a discount because I was friendly and talked to her about America for a while : ) She asked if President Obama was the same as on TV. She wondered if his ears were really that big haha. I told her I have never seen him in person. She was shocked. She then asked about the white house. And was shocked when I told her I haven’t been there either. After I got my cell phone we bought groceries and had Professor Baxen(the lady I am staying with) pick us up so we didn’t have to walk all that way with a lot of groceries. Holly and I looked up South African recipes and bought the ingredients to make them. Yummy! We made a cucumber-zucchini salad. Oh yea they don’t have Zucchini in South Africa. Well they do, but it’s called morrow(or something like that). I had to ask 2 people who worked in the store and luckily a lady who over heard me asking knew what I was talking about. The one boy who was putting fruit away gave me a strange look after I found it and told me to say the name again again so I did then he asked what language it was because he had never heard of it before haha. Then in the checkout line we had two ladies ask us what it was hahahaha. Oh boy. We are silly Americans : ).
I am very proud of myself for adjusting so well. I am the one who asks the questions whether it be for directions, explanations, ect and I am doing just fine : ) Not to mention the people are very friendly and for the most part able to understand me with my accent. Even if they don’t I try my best to explain a different way and most of the time they can help haha
Day two went great : ) The children are just as goofy here as they are back home. They even thought it was funny that Ms. Brown had a Brown stapler. I haven’t heard that one before ; ) I still cannot believe I am here in South Africa teaching African children. Some of which speak little English! I am so blessed that I am able to do this!

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