Monday, September 29, 2014

Received My School Schedule


            I think a bit of information about the Lycee (high school) is need here before going into my schedule.  There are only three grades in the Lycee: Seconde, Premiere, and Terminale.  These grades are then separated into sections or classes.  There are fewer sections as you go up in grades due to the drop out rate. Now that the ground work is set, I had my first teacher meeting this morning at my new school in Vondrozo.  The Proviseur, sitting in the front of the classroom, lead the meeting and the 15 teachers and I sitting in the student’s desk facing him.  He started by going around the room and introducing everyone, as two of the teachers and I were new to the school.  After this he gave a
speech, as well as two of the other teachers.  This part I have no idea what was going on.  My Malagasy is not good enough, nor my vocabulary big enough, to keep up with what they were saying.  So I sat back and waited for visuals or translation; neither came.  Fortunately, this was followed by the Proviseur writing on the board the subject, sections, and hours for each teacher.  This I understood, but also had already known since I had talked to the Proviseur about it shortly after arriving in Vondrozo.  I will be teaching all four sections of Seconde; each twice a week; making 16 hours of teaching each week.  This may not seem like a lot of hours, and it is not compared to teaching in the States, but I will have around 75 students per class, which is two to three times the class size in the States.  My hours are also on par with the rest of the teachers at my school; each of them teaching 16 or 20 hours a week.  Once everyone knew how many sections they would be teaching the meeting took a break as a color coded grid was drawn on the board.  This took quite a long time as the Malagasy people are meticulous when it comes to writing and drawing.  The grid was split, height wise, into the four time slots; two hours each.  It was also split, length wise, into the six teaching days, Monday – Saturday, and each of these were split into the different sections.  Once the grid was finished the teachers took turns, as they arrived back from taking their break somewhere else, in going to the board and writing their classes into the squares they wanted.  This was a fairly efficient way of making the school schedule and allowed the teachers to make their individual schedule to match their lives; many of the teachers also work other jobs or, in the case of two, also run their own private schools.  This scheduling system though did create a schedule that was sporadic at best, as one might imagine.  On taking my turn at the board I made a schedule of regularity, with the students of each section showing up at the same time every other day; much like what you would see at a high school in the states.  When all was done I had a schedule in which I will be teaching Monday – Thursday from 7:30 am – 11:30 am.  This, I think, will be an awesome schedule. It gets my teaching over at lunch and I can use the rest of the day for tutoring and secondary projects.  It also gives me a three day weekend, which is a necessity when I want to go into my banking town.  

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