Today was an early start, but all were very excited about the first day of teaching, despite being a little nervous. We arrived at the catch up centre a little later than usual at 9am to find some students were sitting their last exam meaning we had an antagonising wait until 9:30am to start teaching!
Kaya’s team (Incredibles) were very confident with the introduction, from giving them lanyards to complete with their names and introducing themselves to the class, with their ages and how many brothers and sisters they had, We also sung the alphabet and counted up to 30 to see their abilities.
Lowri’s team (Team Malala) started off by introducing ourselves and the theme for the week, which is “heroes”. We all completed name badges and tried to ask the children about themselves, but they all were really shy and quiet and didn’t say more than they had to. We swiftly moved on to an English lesson, getting each child to find the word classes in a sentence and then to write their own. Even though hardly anyone said anything, they all completed this task really well. This gave us some hope and encouragement for the rest of the week!
During break time and into ‘all together time’ we got a really good insight into the Rwandan culture, by watching the children all dance, sing and play the drums together- Cathy certainly broke out her dance moves from the 1970s! During ‘all together time’ we all introduced ourselves to the rest of the school and tried to teach them all ‘one finger, one thumb’ even though half of our team couldn’t even do it!
Kaya’s team (Incredibles) certainly enjoyed the educational activities session after by playing maths splat on the chalk board, VS each other in teams and rewarding with stickers this encouraged them much more. After spending the majority of the time from this session playing maths splat, we had to force them to move on to playing with the math jigsaw pieces and banagrams and word tiles, all the children really enjoyed this and wanted to continue playing, it was great to see them so enthusiastic!
Lowri’s team (Team Malala) then started a few maths worksheets. They completed them with so much ease – it was actually really great to see them being more involved, even though they were still very quiet. We had to give them more work sheets as they finished the first ones extremely quickly! We could definitely see that they enjoyed maths more than anything else – the beauty of maths being the same in every language! After that, we moved on to a story building game in an attempt to get the children to talk to us. They seemed to get more involved as the lesson went on, which was a great relief, and even some of the children volunteered to read the story aloud at the end of the session which was great to see.
We then came back to the apartments for lunch, food being amazing as it always has been so far! Afterwards, we went back to catch up centre for the afternoon activities.
Kaya’s team (Incredibles) decorated their lanyards with team names and their own names, colouring in and showing off their own drawing skills which were pretty good! We also introduced them to our team song which is in the jungle, they seem to have mastered the… Oh wimbo way part, and we are still learning the rest of the in the jungle song to perform at the end of the week in the celebrations. We also did some hokey cokey in a massive circle which got all the children excited. We went to use the parachute but ran out of time, so luckily Kaya saved the day by singing and teaching the children some team chants such as ‘everywhere we go’ The children LOVE singing!
Lowri’s team (Team Malala) split into two groups – one going outside to play with Frisbees and skipping ropes and the other staying inside to do some craft work and make their own loom band bracelets. The children LOVE loom bands, most of them were showing us new ways to make bracelets, instead of us teaching them! They also had lots of fun with the Frisbees, laughing at my (Lowri’s) attempt to try and throw one in a straight line, or even catch one at all! To end the day, we all came inside (mainly to hide from the heat!) and we either played with jigsaws or drew our idea of what Rwanda is to us. Such a great way to end the day!
We are just preparing to wind down for the day which has been very tiring and exciting, and are preparing our equipment for tomorrow, which is going to be another action packed day!
Kaya- Personally, I have found today pretty emotional. From coming on the first team trip to Rwanda in 2013, it is really exciting to be back again 2 years later! Today when I arrived at the school, a group of the children came up to me and recognised me! 2 of them even remembered my name and I actually saw some of the original children, this was actually pretty overwhelming and I did have a few tears in my eyes!
Much love and hugs,
Kaya and Lowri