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A lot about nothing

Ever want to reach out and talk, but don’t know what to talk about? That’s me right now. Robi and I just got back from a weekend away at Pretoria, and I have this need to reach out and connect, albeit over a really slow internet connection. It is now 9pm and I want to get to bed. Robi and I have started running again and we wake up around 5am to run in the morning before the bloody sun heats the air to god knows what temp (I am still having difficulty with the Celsius-Fahrenheit conversion). As I said in a previous post, Robi and I are going to be running in the Longtom Marathon. It is famous because one year it will be uphill, then the next it is downhill. So this year, it is down – god my knees are already cursing me for even thinking about it. Good thing about it is that there are a lot of other PCVs who are also running it, so it should be a great social time for us as well as a great cause – Note: please donate in our names at the KLM foundation for the Longtom. It is a great cause…I think I said that before. – DONATE, DONATE, DONATE!!! The marathon is right around a break in the school year, so we think that we will be taking a few days to check out the area out there – Blythe River Canyon, I think. It should be a good time. 


Anyway, that’s one thing in our future. Tomorrow, I am doing a demonstration class for a middle school teacher – Grade 8 maths. I am a little nervous but we will see how things go. Teaching here is very different from SSFS and private schools in the States. A barren classroom with 40 or so students. In addition, the educational system is very different. They use something called a Learner Portfolio, where the learner puts all of his formal assessment tasks in a folder or file system, so that any one from the Department can check in and get a learner’s portfolio and see where they are in school. Very different from my experience. And the teachers are supposed to have a portfolio of their own and with all their lesson plans, assessment plan and tasks, learning programmes, and work schedule. Now you probably don’t know what the hell any of those things are. So, here are the translations:


Work Schedule = Syllabus. It is a week-by-week schedule of the activities, assessments, and learning outcomes covered in the week.

Learning Programme = A list of all the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards met in a term by grade and subject.

Learning Outcome = Don’t change from year-to-year. They are the goals of what the learner will develop over the 12 years of education

Example: The learner will be able to recognise, describe and represent numbers and their relationships, and to count, estimate, calculate and check with competence and confidence in solving problems.

Assessment Standards = the specific skills that you learn by grade.

Example:  Grade 2 – Performs mental calculations involving addition and subtraction for numbers to at least 20


So, this is what I have been working on. Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards, specifically in maths (never thought that I would be saying maths instead of math. Damn British. I know that Chef James from Hungary would be very disappointed in me).


So, I think I’m done. I could talk forever, and continue to be scatterbrained, and I know that you must be having a difficult time following every thing. Thanks for reading.


Be safe, wherever you are.


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