Friday, June 29, 2007
Dr. Aggrey Primary School
While I was in Nairobi back in May, I was able to visit another ministry of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Dr. Aggrey Primary School. I was invited to spend the day with Sr. Beatrice, who teaches class 3. She explained that the school was named after a famous doctor and that they encourage the children to study hard by telling them that they too could be doctors some day.
On the morning I went to visit the school, there was a steady drizzle of rain. Sr. Beatrice and I had to carefully find our way up the muddy road, trying to avoid many puddles along to way, to the classrooms and office buildings. As the children arrived they removed their muddy shoes at the door and it was obvious that they were poor from the holes in their socks. Sr. Beatrice introduced me to her class and began to teach at the front while I walked around and helped the students with their math and English lessons. It was incredible that nearly all of the students spoke three languages fluently. They spoke Swahili, their own tribal language, and English. These children have so much potentional, but sadly our still disadvantaged.
Later in the day she was called away for a teacher meeting and for about an hour I was left to teach the class. The kids are smart and always eager to learn, but they are also very energetic and a real handful. I helped to teach English for awhile until their attention was completely lost and then I set them free for a recess break. On the break, the children played games outside in the courtyard although the grounds were still wet and muddy. After the break, the children came back in and I was worried that I would have to teach another subject. At this point, I had run out of lesson plans and the class was still noisy from recess. I tried my best to quiet them down, but they obviously didn’t see me as an authority figure. Just when I was about shout, “Please be quiet and take your seats!,” they suddenly did on their own. The class miraculously took their seats and was immediately silent. I had not said a word, but still had my finger raised with conviction. I was puzzled for a second and then I turned my head and saw Sr. Beatrice walk through the door. The class had seen her coming for a short distance. They knew she meant business. She smiled at me and said, “How was the class?” I pointed to them all sitting quietly in their desks and said, “Oh, fine…they were fine!”
Posted by tim at 9:45 PM