Think I'm becoming a real Nigerian??? Getting into the terminology! 'Flash' is when you want to give someone your number so you just let your phone ring once! 'Travelling' means you are going out and 'in the field' means you are in the community.
So I have been in the field this week visiting schools looking for examples of good practice. On Monday I went to a fantastic school where they are really making use of the lesson plans and really trying to take a more child-centred approach. Although there were 51 children in the classroom-they have to have two classes together due to lack of space- the two teachers made the most of their situation. They had displays everywhere, a numeracy corner and made teaching aids out of junk materials. They had cut out letters so every child had an alphabet pack and arranged the desks in a U shape to encourage all the children to join in. There was a lot of singing, rhymes and role play to keep the children engaged and they knew the children's names. In another class they were learning about capacity and went outside to fill cups with leaves and stones, The head showed me a television and video still in the box-not much good without electricity! I was able to visit this school twice and was made so welcome. It was a long journey down very bad roads but well worth the effort. At another school a bit further on a class 1 teacher was doing Letters and Sounds and had really got the hang of sounding out the words-which teachers here struggle with, They were learning the sound 'p' and singing 'Puff the candles out' with actions. Some children here had problems as their parents couldn't afford to buy them exercise books. A PTA meeting was going on with parents sitting on benches under the trees. Both schools were very basic but they were making the most of what they had. I took loads of photos and made a presentation so the powers that be can see the success of the lesson plans, Photos will be on my next blog. Takes ages to download so have to do them at the office.
Of course I had some adventures on the way to the schools. On my first visit I had to go to the Lgea-Local Government education office to meet everyone. This is always hard as they always remember my name but I meet so many at once often with names I find hard to pronounce that I forget them quickly which makes me feel bad. I addressed one man in Yoruba which he complimented me on but then said I needed to learn their culture and as he was a prince he would show me how to courtesy!
On my first visit we had to give some other colleagues a lift and on the way back I somehow ended up in a meeting-still not sure what it was about-where I was presented with lunch. I am now officially allowed to look for a Nigerian husband as I ate my pounded yam and vegetabble stew! I also had to stand up and make a little speech about myself. Fumi, my colleague and Gabriel, the driver were great company on the journey back. Fumi got oranges for us and bought bananas for me-a third of the price I would have paid! I did not partake of the suya though-this is meat roaste on skewers at the roadside. Apparently they let you know which is roasted dog!
The SSIT members who arranged the visits for me and introduced me to the headteachers were very kind and helpful too and good fun.