Showing posts from January, 2013

Altercations and inspiration

Yesterday was Saturday and I was at school until 4pm. The reason: 8 of our learners have entered the English Olympiad. The Olympiad has a different theme each year and this year the theme is "Secrets and Lies: In camera". The anthology focuses on examples of scandals and corruption ranging from the Secrecy Bill in South Africa, the Profumo Scandal in Britain and an extract from 1984.

In the attempt of encouraging our kids to come to school on a Saturday morning (granted it's only a smalll group of 8) we invited speakers from the Right to Know Campaign, Murray Hunter and Vinayak Bhardwaj. In the attempt of getting them excited about an English olympiad which simply demands kids to think and think creatively about content they wouldn't ordinarily be exposed to in class, we asked Murray and Vinayak to "engage" our kids about ideas that matter. They obviously were not convinced about being at school on a Saturday morning but after discussions began one of the …

Reinventing myself on the first day of school

Today was the day of reinvention. Today was the first day of school. While trying to keep up with the admin of printing worksheets and giving out the timetable, I had to convince my kids that it's a new year. Last year I made the grave error of not setting the basic expectations when I walked into my class and that had a huge impact on how the rest of the year unfolded (I don't know how I missed the memo, but alas, I did).

I only taught a few classes and interacted with the Grade 8's briefly. I'm one of the Grade 10 class teachers as well as a mentor group with learners from every grade. Our mentor group is an innovation we are trying to establish in my school. Apart from having a grade class (mostly for administrative purposes), we have mentor groups which will be a space where learners interact informally and address any grievance or suggestions about their experience at school. The mentor group was facilitated by two prefects (we have a class of 25 Grade 12 matrics …