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Old 01-25-2013, 12:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A little magic in my morning

Yesterday, I started a journaling project with my grade 8s. A little background: after grade 3, the language of instruction in South Africa is English. Books, tests, all in English. The problem is that the students don't have enough English before grade 4 for this to work. Many teachers simply continue to teach in home language (here: siSwati). You can guess what happens as a result.

So, as a side project, I made journals for my grade 8s. I gave each of them an English prompt based on interests (which they described for me in another assignment). They'll answer, and then I'll write back. The journals will become a written English conversation -- good practice for them.

So, I already got 3 journals back this morning, and they made my day. Some excerpts: "Please Ms Nomsa (my siSwati name) can you be my friend? I love you." And "I respect you teacher because you are my teacher and I love you." *heart melting*

Some days here are so indescribably hard...small things like this are just enough to keep me going!

I don't post a lot in this forum, so I thank you for listening.

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That is so great. What a difference you are making in their lives and they obviously appreciate you and the work you do. That's awesome!!!! You sound like a fantastic teacher!!!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's awesome!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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What a great idea and a great result! Words and feelings like that could help you get through the hardest day and know it's all worthwhile.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How great to get a response and to see the difference you're making.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow! How great it must feel getting responses like that
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Creative teaching idea! And those responses are priceless!
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What a great way to help them with school work, as well as getting to know them better on a personal level.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This just warms my heart!
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You are making a difference and "leaving your mark".......and they realize it and love you for it. What a wonderful thing you are doing for them.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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What a wonderful idea - and fantastic that your teaching effort is being rewarded!
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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A little magic in my morning

Well, I'm glad I got started with the journals I quoted. Today the rest of them were turned in and they are eye opening, to put it mildly. Some are inquisitive (asking about slavery in America and other stuff), and others are downright confessional (and very, very sad). Few learners can fully articulate their thoughts in English.

So, this project is going to be both rewarding and very challenging, I think!

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Old 01-28-2013, 03:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Sounds like it's not only helping their English, but doing them a lot of good emotionally to tell someone about their lives. It sure will be a challenge to respond to these stories.
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