Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My P.E. Classes

So as I mentioned already I am teaching P.E. classes here for high school girls. I had to give exams for P.E. which was the biggest joke. I tested the girls on how well they could pass, set, and serve the volleyball as well as their "ready position." If the girls showed up to the class they scored 100% in the class basically. I ended up failing quite a lot of girls actually since so many of them just don't show up. There were even a few girls who showed up the exam whom I had never seen in my class. As I was giving my P.E. class the boys were having their class right beside us. I am not sure how to describe what they were doing but the serious Headmaster was having them hop up and down like frogs for half the lenght of the soccer field. Then he was having them stand on one leg with the other leg crossed over and their hand under their chin like they're thinking. I am not sure what this is testing, and what the benefit of this is. From my Human Kinetics background I tend to think about what the practical purpose of an exercise is, and these were pretty useless. One day they were doing some practical exercises in the area of track and field. The boys all had these crooked sticks and were doing pole vault over a piece of string. Also they were doing hurdles, but instead of an actual hurdle it was 2 guys crouched down. This one really caught my attention. I think I was laughing out loud as I was watching because it looked so bizarre. And lastly, the boys class passed by one morning running down the road for an hour run. What struck me was that as they ran they were all singing together in a perfect rythm and a really catchy melody. I was very impressed by this. 

My girls I teach are a lot of fun. Most of them are around 13 years old so they are still at the age where they are up for doing funny childlike games and are easy excitable. The girls are actually quite competitive. If I am not keeping track of the score at all times they will really fight. And knowing me I have never been good at keeping score in sports games, so this happens quite frequently. We are now starting to have actual volleyball rallies and when the class period is over they beg me to play longer. So when I don't have to go right after class I usually play with them for an extra half hour. If I do have to go I just tell them to return the ball back at my house. This is one of my favourite parts of my day, when I get to play with the girls, laugh, encourage them, get laughed at, give high fives, and being silly. It really is something special. They really are terrible at volleyball, they make fun of my French and sometimes can be very snarky, but I love them all the same. I taught them how to give high fives which they think is the greatest thing, haha. But, I realized one class that they were actually saying, "I'm Fine!" and slapping my hand. I said, "Hold up girls!!! (well in French of course) It is 'HIGH FIVE,' not 'I'M FINE." hahah, it was pretty hilarious.

The P.E. classes at the primary school Ecole Maternelle are actually my least favourite activity here. You would think since they're cute little 4 and 5 year olds that it would be easy and fun, but it's not. Okay, yes they are as cute as can be! but to teach in French how to play an organized game is the most draining thing. One morning I had the 3 year old kids, and it took 30 minutes for them to get into a circle and then when I explained it the teacher explained it in Lingala (the kids only know a little bit of French) and I still don't think the kids really got the game. I taught them hopscotch which I thought would be easy and somewhat fun, but the kids just didn't understand it. They would just jump anywhere! Ah, my patience is truly being tested with these kids. I now know that I could never be an elementary school teacher.

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