The first week I was able to work with one class of students and do an introduction activity. I had them complete a snowball icebreaker activity so I could get to know them and we could all see how well they knew each other. The other classes were not able meet because of the exams and class meetings. Overall the activity went fairly well and I could tell that one of my biggest problems here was going to be how fast I speek. Since the students are learning English as their second or third language I am going to have to slow down alot and be patient when I am asked the same quetion more than once. Other than that the students were very receptive to the activity and having a bit of fun while learning new things about each other.
The second week here was the first time I was actually able to get into the classroom and take on the role of teaching. Since we are going to be here for such a sort amount of time we had to hit thr ground running covering the material. For me that means making one lesson that I will teach to each class, here I only have one period of students a day Monday – Thursday so I have alot of time to do research, perfect my lesson plans, and get to know the other teachers in the office that we all share.
For the tenth graders I decided to start off by doing a bit of review and throughing in some new material by giving a powerpoint style lecture comparing the Indonesian structure of government with that of the United States. I was able to involve the students by having them give answers and summerize the Indonesian side and then I was able to give the United States side. It was interersting to see just how much they knew about the different governments and there were many teachable moments for both the students and myself because of the language barrier (even in Enlgish I prounce things differently, lol) and the exchange of ideas and culture. We were able to discuss the checks and balances system used in the United States, the ideas behind the consitution, and why Indonesia has changed so many times over the years (colonization by the dutch, influence of communism, recent democratization, etc). At the end of the lesson I was able to assess the students by having them complete a ticket out the door describing two similarities and two differences between the Indonesian and the United States government.
For the twelth grade sociology class I put together a jeopardy review of the material they have covered all year. Since we arrived they have been study and taking practice exams as they prepare for the school exam and national exam they must take in order to graduate. A lot of pressure is put on them to succeed from numerous people including their parents, the school, and themselves. This exam determines what they will be able to do career wise in the future and definately means much more to the students than the ACT or SAT in the states. I wanted to give them a nice break while at the same time still have class be helpful and useful as they prepare for the national exam. I was able to sit down and make review questions covering the material from their book with the help of my cooperaiting teacher and outside research. The internet here is spotty sometimes, but the good thing was I was still able to use the website jeopardylabs.com and did not have to rely on my back up powerpoint. The students really got into the activity and were way more excited than I thought they would be to try and win a peice of Jolley Rancher candy that I had bought with me here. We ended up going through the activity so quickly that I was able to have the students write their own test questions and then compete to answer them as a class on the white board. The only thing about the activity I would change is that many of the student knew the material it just was not the specific phrasing that I was looking for in the aswer. I can change this by knowing the information more myself and being more flexible in the repsonses I accept from students.
The rest of the week went pretty smoothly for us and we continued to get involved after school just talking with students and staff about places we should see, life in a boarding school, and things going on in Palembang and Indonesia. Most of the staff was focused on preparing for the Solo Camp (juniors) and Leadership Camp (sophmores) that was coming up the following week. I was able to get involved with Solo camp and actually made it to a couple of planning meetings. On Monday we had a flag ceremony where all the staff and students gathered to read the Constitution and go through a ceremony to raise the flag for the week (the school does it every Monday, but because of the exams and camps we have only gotten to experience it once so far). At the ceremony we were also asked to hand out the prizes for the class competitions. Sasha had one of his classes get rained out during the afternoon by a sudden thuunderstorm that even caught me by suprise since I was working inside, it reminded me a bit of summer weather back in Iowa. Other than that the routine has pretty much become that we stay at school until anywhere between 6:00 – 7:00pm and make it home to eat and go to bed. For lunch the office ordered out once so that was interesting to see too. We did go out a couple times with the couple we live with and thier family to see a few other places to eat besides the food court by our house here. Besides that week two was pretty normal for us.