Tuesday, December 6, 2011

London or India?

This is the school that I worked at today. This was actually the first school that I was at, and I have worked there now a few times. It is called Monega Primary School in East Ham. It looks as old on the inside as it does on the outside.

While I was walking from the tube to the school today, which is about a .8 mile walk, I realized that this area of London does not really look like your typical London......actually it feels like you stepped into India or another part of the Middle East. That is why all the kids at this school, well not all but the majority of them, are from Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, etc. I took some pictures so you can see what I mean.....


This is in the window of one of the shops that I pass on my walk. They are advertising for people to buy these clothing items. What do you think? Should I change my style? Definitly not your typical London fashion......


"I Love to See the Temple......" oh wait......wrong kind of temple. But yeah! I get to pass buy this on my walk to school.


You can't see too well from this picture but this is a fresh meat market with whole animals hanging from the ceilings. There are two whole pigs that have been skinned hanging right there for you to purchase. Tons of animals still with the legs on them and heads.....not really my style. Boneless skinless chicken breasts from Costco anyone? :)


I don't even know what this says because I can't read this language....but it is a jewelry shop. Very interesting.......


And really, not even joking, but I am the only girl around this area that doesn't have one of these on top of my head. You can actually see my hair. I feel a little, um, exposed....



So yeah, I get to step into India-villie for a day and experience a whole new London. I am soaking in so much culture here and I love it!



So school today......it went well. I taught Year 4 in the morning and Year 3 in the afternoon. The kids were great, and I had a student from each class help me with the role so that was a little easier. They would stand up there and say the names while I ticked them off on the role. Much much easier, faster, and I avoid all the children laughing at me because I can't pronounce a single name and am forced to spell them out. Problem solved.



But there were a few interesting things today......


1. In my Year 4 class, there is this girl who looks like she is about 15. Seriously. I have seen her before when I worked there, out on the playground, and I thought she was a student teacher or maybe a high school volunteer. Then one of my students without me even asking pointed to her and said, "That girl is in Year 4 but everyone thinks she is way older." I guess she stands out around the school. She was taller than me and had long black braids in her hair. She was African. All the other kids come up to my stomach or so, so yeah, she really stands out.



2. In this same class, there was a little girl that was blind. She had a TA with her the entire day helping her. It was amazing to see her work. She sat there with this thing that looked like a typewriter that would feed paper to her with braille written on it and she would feel it and read it out loud to her TA. It was amazing to see her in process. I have never witnessed anyone actually reading braille before! The school has two huge staircases on each side of the building, but she goes down them really well. She uses her stick and feels for the first step and then flies does the rest. She really amazed me.



3. In my afternoon Year 3 class we were doing a math lesson on subtraction. (Here they say math as a plural, they call it a maths lesson.) I taught the lesson and then the students were making up their own problems on their paper. This little girl comes up to me and then points to this boy in the corner front table and says, "He needs help. He doesn't speak any English." I look over and there is this sweet little boy with a cute little smile on his face just sitting there all happy looking. He has a little bit written down on his paper, but hardly anything. I ask him a question, and he doesn't respond, but just smiles at me. I am thinking, Ok, How do you even begin to teach a child who doesn't understand a word that you say? He was so cute though and was trying so hard to do his math. After school when the parents came to pick their kids up, a tall man in a huge blue turban came over to my line and picked this little boy up. The little boy waved at me to say bye. So interesting to see their parents and where these kids came from. I guess he just moved here 3 weeks ago and knows almost zero English. His poor teacher.......

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