I can’t believe another term is complete. While it has definitely had its challenges, there have been many more moments of satisfaction, accomplishment and awe. I am soooo happy to report that my learners improved their exam results this term. In fact, the math averages were third highest among the grade eight subjects – a whopping 42%!!! After teaching them double periods and bombarding them with exam-type questions for weeks prior to their exam, I truly felt that I had prepared them as best I could and was hoping for a more impressive average. But I realized this time around what went wrong…. they didn’t study! They couldn’t identify a parallelogram, used area formulas to calculate volume and had no idea of the difference between profit and loss! Sooo frustrating! But, at least I know what I need to tackle in term three!

This term I got the chance to really get to know my homeroom class. Of the 33 students, 32 of them are repeating grade 8 and will automatically move on to grade 9 next year. 14 of them have faced the death of their birth mother or father. Two of them are orphans and live with extended family and three girls have babies of their own. Unfortunately, we had three female learners drop out of my class alone – one due to pregnancy, one got sick and another had a parent die – all part of reality of village life.

As I did last term, here are a few memorable quotes from the term:

When discussing celibacy during my Life Skills class, I asked learners if they could identify one person they knew in the community who was celibate. Because many are Catholic, I was expecting they would say their priest – but one learner raised his hand and very seriously said “Michael Jackson”.

During another Life Skills discussion, I was encouraging the learners to wait to have sex until they finished school and one boy asked “is this why some learners have the sex with goats?”.  He wasn’t joking.

In an argument between two girls, one said: “Put your jealous in your pocket and close your pocket!” Classic!

Hiking back from Rundu one Saturday and as we passed a school, the driver said with pride “I used to teach at that school but I got suspended for getting a learner pregnant. I tried to convince her she was wrong, but…”

Written at the bottom of one of my learners’ exams: “Sank you miss Tanya, that was easy”. He scored 28% on the exam!

With the end of another term comes another school holiday and the chance for me to explore more of this continent! So, tomorrow, Amy and I begin our road trip to Livingstone, Zambia to see the majestic Victoria Falls and then a camping safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana. Very, very excited to leave the village and do some exploring. I will post along the way!