Teaching English – I knew that it would be one of my major challenges in coming to Iris. Limited school supplies, no curriculum to rely on, and very little teaching experience. I wondered “how can I effectively teach African children English?” I knew that this would have to be a work of grace.
Two months into my internship there is good news. English lessons have been going great! Teaching has been one of my favorite activities here at Iris. I developed a curriculum, and with each new week comes creative ideas for lesson plans. Like I mentioned above – it has been a work of grace.
In preparations for classes, God has been helping me to think creatively. In a small but meaningful way, I am witnessing the promises of Proverbs 3:6, “in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (King James language – it ‘s a favorite of mine). If anyone would like, I’ll tell you about these ideas, and timely provisions, when I get back.
My students range from toddlers to teens; but they’re all (mostly) infants in their understanding of the English language; yet are progressively learning quite well. They have acquired the ability to speak or recite: basic conversational skills, numbers, body parts (head and shoulders song – they love it), identifying common objects, meal times and food dishes, etc. Seeing their growth in language skills is one of the most rewarding aspects to this internship.
Before and after classes is one of my favorite times of the day. The kids have been teaching me some of their sweet indigenous dances (I teach them to break-dance), games, and language skills. They also like to hang off of me, lots of them, I am their jungle gym at times. Ha.
But what really gets me about these kids is their ability to laugh. They don’t get upset with little annoyances, they giggle. These kids, who have become my friends, are teaching me the importance of letting life’s little annoyances go, and releasing them over to laughter. Why get upset over the little stuff when we don’t have to? Life is better when we try to embrace it with more joy.
OK, I would like to make one final note. Does teaching English really make a difference to these kids living in a village on the outskirts of a city in the Northern Parts of Mozambique, Africa? Definitely. Mozambique is a developing nation, and their educational system is weak but getting better. The kids are taught both Portuguese (a remnant influence of their colonial past), and more recently, English in their public schools. This is great, for in an ever increasing globally connected world the universal language of communication is English. This opens doors like the possibility of getting a higher education in their own country, as well as abroad. This in turn opens the door for job opportunities and leadership positions in their own county and in the world around them.
–> I have included some pictures from my Meize morning class.