My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

School Update Tuesday

So, Stacy and I sat down and talked about getting the school ready for starting in September. We agreed that morning classes were going to slow me down in getting the school ready, so I'm taking a break from morning classes until I can get stuff together for each of the kids and a plan of action for this next year. That's kind of a relief, because, even though I know the kids loved the morning lessons, it's been hard to keep up with things.
Flexibility is the key, I'm learning. There is always a change of plans and sometimes we leave for the day, or I can only test one kid.
This week, I will be meeting with Ivy, a woman here who works to register schools for Ghana. I'll also be meeting with a couple of people who we are thinking of hiring as additional teachers for the year. Hopefully those meetings will work out so that I can have a better idea of what to expect for this next year.
We are planning on using American curriculum (with some modifications for the culture), so there will have to be some changes in how things are taught here. I'm learning that things here are very much taught by rote memorization, and discipline is often brought about by caning. Our school is going to be very different. The children will be learning by comprehension strategies, phonics, and processes, rather than just memorizing. We are working on coming up with a positive behavior plan for the students instead of the caning that they are used to. It will be challenging at first for the teachers and for the students. Already, we've had to lay down the rule of "no canes" in the Freedom Center. We have to be careful not to be culturally rude, but also have to consider the long term consequences if caning were allowed. Though culturally accepted here, it teaches fear in students rather than a desire to learn for learning's sake. We'll see what we can do to change that and institute a more positive behavior plan instead.
Lots to do. . .little time to do it in. Better get to work!

1 comment:

  1. Im a little late in reading this, but I love how you are going about setting up your processes. Keep us posted with how things are working out!