This week we had our teaching practicum where we taught real classes. I am teaching at the Fotua Government Primary School. The school is about a ¼ mile down the road from me and I ride my bike there. I was assigned to their class 5 class which is made up of 10 students who are around 10 years old. We could teach anything we wanted for 2 hours. That’s the cool thing about teaching English at the primary level. You can pretty much teach whatever topic you want as long as it is in English. I’m writing this on Tuesday night so I’ve had two days of classes so far.
I decided to start off with an easy topic for my first day of teaching so I chose to teach about the parts of the body. We had written lesson plans that were supposed to last for the full 2 hours. I was finished with everything I had planned about half way through. However the lesson was a success as far as I was concerned. The kids learned the 10 vocab words I wanted to teach them and they also learned the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes song despite me screwing up the dance a few times. So after an hour, when I had finished everything I had planned to do, I gave them a 15 minutes recess to go outside and do whatever. When they came back we did another exercise where I pointed to a part of the body and they yelled out what I was pointing at. Ex.) I would point to my nose and they would shout nose. So with about 25 minutes left of class I tentatively asked, “Have you guys ever played Duck, Duck, Goose?” They replied with, “DUCK DUCK GOOSE!!!!!!” It was a big hit and apparently one of their favorites. The funny thing was that the class 1 and 2 kids (5 and 6 year olds) were let out early, so soon after our game started, the size of the circle was doubled in size to maximum capacity and around the circle was a larger circle of standing spectators. It was wild. I felt like I was at a cock fight or something lol. It would become eerily quiet whenever someone was going around the circle saying duck but the second they said goose and the chase began, everyone would start screaming and cheering them on. To add to the noise a few of the students had drum sticks on them and would start banging those too. Also Tongan kids are tough. They were sliding and diving on the concrete floor to get back to their place in time. It was awesome.
Today’s lesson went pretty much the same way with 10 new words about the parts of the body. I planned it a little better and we didn’t run out of activities and I taught them how to sing and dance the Hokie Pokie which they loved. I’m teaching again tomorrow morning and on Friday morning. There is no school on Thursday because it is the first EVER Election Day in the Kingdom of Tonga. For the first time in the country’s history there will be a democratic election for public officials. It will be very interesting how the elections turn out and if there are any dramatic changes although none are anticipated. However I’m sure that there will be many changes over the next 2 years.
We have less than 2 weeks left of our home stay and basically our training. Training doesn’t officially end until December 15, when we get sworn in, but everyone is going to their sites on December 4th and that will be pretty fun. I’ll be staying here in beautiful Ha’apai.