Week One at Friendship Secondary Complete!

Trip Start Aug 01, 2006
1
5
16
Trip End Jul 14, 2007


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Flag of Guyana  ,
Saturday, September 9, 2006

Hello again from Guyana!

I have finally starting teaching down here in Guyana, and so far it has been quite an experience. The first week was chaotic/awesome/confusing/great/overwhelming/exhausting/daunting/inspiring all in one. We (all WorldTeach volunteers) were warned that the first week of school in Guyana was usually a little bit hectic, as teachers and the HeadMaster were probably still trying to figure out the Time Table, or schedule. True to this, Monday at Friendship Secondary was pure insanity and chaos. Students were either sitting/goofing off in hot classrooms with no teachers, or running around the school grounds like maniacs. I went into the HM's office in the morning, and she told me to just go to my Science Lab and wait until someone told me my time table. So I went to my lab to work on my Term Scheme and lesson plans. Yet not even a second after I unlocked the door and stepped foot in the room, students just swarmed in, shouting,

"MISS!! MISS!! What is your name??!! Are you the Science Teacher?? What is your name?? MISS!!! How old are you, Miss!! Miss can we come in!!??"

So needless to say, I got to know a lot of students very quickly. We all talked in the lab for a while, and then I decided to organized some games for them until their classes finally got organized. We played some Science Bingo, Science Hangman, Science Pictionary, etc. It was fun just to talk to them and get to know them better.

Within the next few days my time table got changed about a thousand times, but I believe it's finally set now to Form 2 and Form 3 (Grades 8 and 9) Integrated Science. There are 3 classes each of Form 2 and Form 3, so I teach 6 classes total. Each class meets 3 times a week for a 70-minute period, so I teach 18 classes a week. In the school, there are 4 periods a day. So per week, there are 20 periods total. So I teach 18 out of the 20 periods available. Pretty much chock-full. Most teachers at the school teach about 11-13 periods per week. At first I was a bit overwhelmed, but then I realized that this full schedule provides an awesome opportunity. I came here to teach, and I'm going to work my hardest and longest to teach as many students as I can, as much material as I can (without going insane). Carpe Diem, right?

So far I've taught a couple of classes of both Form 2 and Form 3, and they've gone pretty well. The form 2 is much harder than form 3, because there are about 42 students in each class. Furthermore, there are only about 18 stools in the lab, so not all of the students have seats. They have to lean on the benches or sit on the sit on the side benches along the wall. It's really hard for them, and I know they have a hard time concentrating when it's hot and they can't sit properly. I've already talked to the HM and Deputy, but there's really nothing else that I personally can do. The school pretty much has to wait for the Ministry of Education to provide the furniture and supplies--which as we've learned--can take literally forever.

On a better note, the Form 3 classes have about 25 students in each class, and therefore they are MUCH easier to manage and teach. Plus, most of them are well-behaved and eager to learn. When I try to engage them in discussion and asking/answering questions, they do a great job! It is very encouraging, and I really cannot wait to teach them throughout the year.

That's all I have time to write today. There is so much more to say and many more stories to tell, so hopefully I'll have time to get them in eventually. I hope everyone who reads this is doing well!

Oh! And if you would like to send a letter or package, my address is below:

Jaime Hurlbut
WorldTeach Programme
Friendship Secondary School
Friendship, East Bank Demerara
Guyana, South America
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