Skip to main content

Primary school jazz

 They're building a Grade R (kindergarten) classroom at my school. This seems rather foolish, as the Grade Rs already have a place to meet--in the library, (which has a few high school accounting textbooks with a good quarter-inch of dust on them). Not only that, the new Department of Education regulations stipulate that the learner/educator ratio is supposed to be 32. Here, where the average class size is around 16 or so and all the senior phase grades (7, 8, 9) have their own classroom, that can't last. Grade 7 and 8 are going to have to be combined after I leave, which will leave an empty classroom. Not to mention that enrollment has been consistently falling for the last 10 years. Oh well.

In other news, today I visited the primary school in the neighboring village for the first time and was blown away by the quality of the teaching, especially the Grade 2 teacher. The feeding scheme has broken down this week, so the kids hadn't even been fed, but she had the full attention of every single one of about 30 kids. Not one goofing off, or talking to her friend, or anything. She didn't hit them, or even chastise them at all. That kind of classroom management is spooky to watch--like a really good political rally or something, where the audience is just rapt. I don't think I'll ever be able to manage that--teaching little kids spectacularly well seems to require an uncommon mix of genuine enthusiasm and charisma, genuine love of children, and an aptitude for ruthless psychological manipulation. Whatever it takes, I don't have it. I'll have to settle for passable.
Posted by Picasa

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Reality Winner Leak to the Intercept?

So Reality Winner, former NSA contractor, is in federal prison for leaking classified information — for five years and three months, the longest sentence of any whistleblower in history. She gave documents on how Russia had attempted to hack vendors of election machinery and software to The Intercept , which completely bungled basic security procedures (according to a recent New York Times piece from Ben Smith, the main fault lay with Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito ), leading to her capture within hours. Winner recently contracted COVID-19 in prison, and is reportedly suffering some lingering aftereffects. Glenn Greenwald has been furiously denying that he had anything at all to do with the Winner clusterfuck, and I recently got in an argument with him about it on Twitter. I read a New York story about Winner, which clearly implies that she was listening to the Intercepted podcast of March 22, 2017 , where Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill expressed skepticism about Russia actually b

On Refusing to Vote for Bloomberg

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg is attempting to buy the Democratic nomination. With something like $400 million in personal spending so far, that much is clear — and it appears to be working at least somewhat well, as he is nearing second place in national polls. I would guess that he will quickly into diminishing returns, but on the other hand spending on this level is totally unprecedented. At this burn rate he could easily spend more than the entire 2016 presidential election cost both parties before the primary is over. I published a piece today outlining why I would not vote for Bloomberg against Trump (I would vote for Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, or Biden), even though I live in a swing state. This got a lot of "vote blue no matter who" people riled up . They scolded me and demanded that I pre-commit to voting for Bloomberg should he win the nomination. The argument as I understand it is to try to make it as likely as possible that whatever Democrat wins t

Varanus albigularis albigularis

That is the Latin name for the white-throated monitor lizard , a large reptile native to southern Africa that can grow up to two meters long (see pictures of one at the Oakland Zoo here ). In Setswana, it's called a "gopane." I saw one of these in my village yesterday on the way back from my run. Some kids from school found it in the riverbed and tortured it to death, stabbing out its eyes, cutting off its tail, and gutting it which finally killed it. It seemed to be a female as there were a bunch of round white things I can only imagine were eggs amongst the guts. I only arrived after it was already dead, but they described what had happened with much hilarity and re-enactment. When I asked why they killed it, they said it was because it would eat their chickens and eggs, which is probably true, and because it sucks blood from people, which is completely ridiculous. It might bite a person, but not unless threatened. It seems roughly the same as killing wolves tha