Still Kickin’ Folks!!

Hello hello! Apologies for slacking on the blog lately, but I have a few things I plan on posting over the next few days, so thanks for not giving up on me just yet!

First of all, I just wanted to update everyone on what I’ve actually been DOING over the past couple of months–school started here in Guyana back on September 2nd. For these first couple of months I have mainly been focused on getting to know the teachers and students at my school, getting a schedule/timetable going for my literacy pull-outs, and slowly but surely working on the school’s Literacy Room, which will be “my” classroom over the next two school years. Our school has 155 students, which is really small for a Primary School here in Linden–the other two Education volunteers here have between 500 and 600 students at their schools, just to give you an idea. I have really enjoyed being at a smaller school so far, as it has made getting to know everyone a little bit less daunting. So far the teachers, students, and Headmistress have been very welcoming towards me, and even presented me with a surprise 30th birthday gift at morning assembly–albeit a couple weeks late 🙂

On a daily basis, I work with small groups of kids (usually 6-10) from Grades 1-6 and we mainly focus on literacy skills. Illiteracy is a huge challenge in Guyana, and it is not uncommon to find a grade 5 or 6 student that cannot identify letters/sounds. This is not meant to sound negative, more just to give you an idea of why it is Education volunteers in Guyana are placed at Primary Schools and why we focus mainly on literacy skill building. I do all kinds of different activities, whether it be simple phonics, read-alouds/storytelling, reading games/relay races (make anything a competition and Guyanese children become pretty motivated); I’ve even started somewhat of a ‘Book Club’ with my Grade 6ers and so far they are really into it!

Getting a schedule made was a bit of a challenge, since I really tried not to take away from the teacher’s instructional time, but at the same time getting a good chunk of time 1-2 times a week to try to catch these kiddos up to their classmates. I think the timetable we have going now is working pretty well for everyone, and I even have time to fit in some whole-class instruction time with Grades 4,5, and 6 to work on comprehension.

The Literacy Room has really been handed over to me as a bit of a pet project. Progress has been a little slower than expected, but it is slowly coming together and I get a chance to address the PTA this week about continuing to develop the room as a school-wide resource, so wish me luck on that! I don’t want to drone on and on too long about the ins and outs of school, so for now I will just post a few pictures that I think embody the school year so far. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below, and I’ll get back atcha as soon as I can. Thanks for reading, and as always…Peace & Love from Guyana.

The sign I made for the door!

The sign I made for the door!

I get lots of animal visitors too. This guy was HUGE. And I saved him from the children.

I get lots of animal visitors too. This guy was HUGE. And I saved him from the children.

Little Miss Sassy Pants

Little Miss Sassy Pants

Bookshelves with a lot of unusable, insanely old/irrelevant books, and a few gems!

Bookshelves with a lot of unusable, insanely old/irrelevant books, and a few gems!

My surprise chalkboard birthday message :)

My surprise chalkboard birthday message 🙂

My HM and Senior Teacher working away on the word vine we made to border the room. It 's amazing what you can do with cardboard boxes, copy paper, a boxcutter, permanent markers and a green crayon.

My HM and Senior Teacher working away on the word vine we made to border the room. It
is amazing what you can do with cardboard boxes, copy paper, a boxcutter, permanent markers and a green crayon.

This guy is a character...

This guy is a character…

Salvaged world map

Salvaged world map

Me and one of my buddies :)

Me and one of my buddies 🙂

My room is the place to be I tell ya!

My room is the place to be I tell ya!

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8 thoughts on “Still Kickin’ Folks!!

  1. Thanks for all the updated info. Judging from clothes its warm there. Getting chillier here each week. Keylee was complaining today that tomorrow she has to wear a dress for FFA and its suppose to be in the 20’s in the morning. lol poor baby.

    • Hey NanaMay! Yes ma’am, it is hot and hideously humid here year round. Hottest place I’ve ever been, hands down. There is only one season here, and that is summer. The only thing that changes is wet vs. dry season haha. So tell Keylee to enjoy the cold 🙂 Miss y’all!

  2. Well now that you are in full swing – tell me what we can send you that would be most beneficial to you & the kids.

    • Hey Melissa! If you check out the post before this one, “Wish List”, I still could use the things listed there. But honestly anything you can/want to send will be greatly appreciated. It’s usually cheaper if you can send it in one of the big padded envelopes (vs a box) and if you send books, don’t forget to ask about “media” mailing rates, supposedly much cheaper! Love y’all and miss y’all!

    • Hey Linda!
      1. Thank you 🙂
      2. It was real, I saw it with my very own eyes!!
      3. The easiest and most straightforward way for me to get books is for people to purchase them (children’s storybooks, geared towards ages 5-11) and ship them directly to me. Padded envelopes are usually cheaper than boxes, and don’t forget to ask about “media” mailing rates at the post office, supposedly much cheaper if you’re mailing books. Whit has the address if you need it. Thanks for reading, love y’all!

  3. Jaders, that is so cool. I have always felt like if a person can read, they can teach themselves anything. You are helping better their lives in unspeakable ways.

    And you are 30! Wow! I thought you were like 22 or something.

  4. Can’t believe I missed this one Jade :>( You are such an interesting and informative ambassador for us all! Love the moth – about as big as some of the cockroaches I encountered in Panama :>)! Saw your map was a little tattered. If you want, can send you a current National Geographic map. You mentioned books are old, etc. Have a number of National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazines from last two years – would there be an interest in these? Let me know and I can packem’ up for you!

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