Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Madam Zwazo* returns to the schools

Today I taught in a school in which I first taught in 2009.  I have been back almost every year since to teach about birds and bats.  This time I taught 175 kids about mosquitoes and the animals that control them – fish, frogs, and bats.  We learned the life cycles of each, and despite being taught that mama bats give birth to babies that drink mama’s milk, when asked where bats come from the students still said from old mice!

It was only last year that I understood the culture enough to begin to seeing the dynamics of the students and teachers at this school, and my host explained what was going on.  The little kids, preschool – 6th grade, have always been nice and polite.  The high schoolers were always rowdy and tough to teach, and now I know it is because their teachers often do not come to class.  The teachers don’t get paid regularly or it is very low pay, so they don’t even bother showing up.  Which means the students are just milling around causing trouble.  The 7th grade class with no teacher at least sat still enough for 20 minutes of ecology lessons!

*When introduced to the principle he said something about Madam Zwazo, so that is my name now.  

Teaching the 5th grade, with a teacherless class looking on.

Preschoolers showing the 4 steps of the mosquito life cycle.

The path to the school.

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