Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One, Two, Three, Eyes on Me!

My time in Rwanda has challenged me in many ways. I find myself drawing upon skills and tools I learned in all different aspects of my life. My education at Harwood first introduced me to this incredible country and taught me about the language, the history, and the customs. My education at St. Michael’s prepared me to be a teacher and at times, a social worker. Not a day goes by that I don’t use a learning strategy, technique, or simply just the kind words of advice from my professors to help me get through the challenges Rwanda throws at me on a daily basis. But in the past few weeks, I’ve been drawing upon my elementary education to help me.

I will be forever grateful to those teachers who subtly gave me the tools to help organize a large group of excited children. When I was younger, I had no idea that the command “One, two, three, eyes on me” would transcend the walls of my elementary school and be put to use in Rwanda. I was beyond excited when Ally and I first introduced it; we heard, “One, two, eyes on you!” and received instant quiet.

Sword fight game

Tools like these have been very helpful in developing the new class that Ally and I started a few weeks ago. The Rwandan Government mandates that students have an extra-curricular class that includes art, physical education, and music. We found out that the boys in Primary 1 and Primary 2 at the center do not have this class and we decided to fill the void.

Practicing the verb "to touch"

This class has become an English/Physical Education class and will hopefully evolve to include music and art in the future. Ally is majoring in Health Science with a Physical Education licensure so she also has many tricks up her sleeve from her classes and internships through Johnson State College. So far, we have successfully mastered different versions of tag: regular, tunnel, and candle and are currently working on blob tag. We also taught them a game called sword fight, which has become a hit even outside of class. For every game, we introduce key English words they have to use while playing the game. 

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