I am slowly trying to figure out my schedule for the school week so that I am productive, I assist where needed, I can stay busy, and am able to enjoy each week. So far, I have really been enjoying having the kids back on the school compound. It has enabled me to stay busy! The first two weeks have flown by way too quickly. Here is my exciting routine established thus far:
Monday- On Mondays, I will be in the office all day. I plan to assist with paperwork, office organization, and most importantly, I will be developing and preparing my lessons and programs for the week. After school, I will be running a life skills program for students in classes 6-8. I am really excited about this program, because I see a definite need for discussion of a range of topics regarding life skills. For example, during our first session, I had the students make a vision board to begin thinking about their future. The point was to get them thinking about their life and where they hope to be in 5 to 10 years. It was clear that most of the students had never been asked to think about their goals and future aspirations. We will be talking about personal values, working on creativity and critical thinking, discussing healthy relationships, and I will also be covering a range of health topics. I am particularly interested in talking about reproductive health with this group. I plan to make this program fun in hopes of incorporating interactive learning, games, and visual learning aids.
Tuesday- On Tuesdays, I will be in the library during the day. I am going to work with small groups of 2-4 students who need extra help with reading. After school, I will be doing a social program with the teachers. They have expressed interest in team building activities, workout programs, and hearing health talks. I plan to have organized volleyball games, lead yoga and zumba classes, speak about a range of health topics, and have other team building activities (such as playing catch phrase or Pictionary)
Wednesday- On Wednesdays, again, I will be in the library working with small groups who need future assistance in reading. The last half hour of school is set-aside for clubs on Wednesdays. I am in charge of Girl Guides; I will be working with the older girls classes 6, 7, and 8. I am going to use this as an opportunity to encourage confidence and empowerment among these girls. After we have finished clubs, I have been selected to run a literacy program. This program will take place every other Wednesday. On the alternate weeks another teacher will be leading a numeracy program. This past week we did a spelling bee competition between the 4 houses within the school.
Thursday- On Thursdays, I am going to be working on a school garden! After I am clear the plot, each class will be allotted a section. I’ll create a schedule so that different classes come out and help clear, plant, weed, and water throughout the day. In the afternoon when school lets out, I will be doing another session for the life skills program. Each session will be about an hour.
Friday- Fridays are half days. The students are transported by boat back to their respective villages after lunch but of course, on Fiji time. I will be running a sports program with the kids until their transport home is ready.
Of course, this schedule is tentative and I will be flexible week to week. Here are some of the other projects that will be filling my time:
1. I am going to be doing a few professional development sessions with the teachers. I will probably do one session every term.
2. I have told teachers that I want to be a guest lecturer in their classroom for any subject but particularly health! I have already been asked by the class 5 teacher to teach the lesson about keeping the school compound clean and the importance of picking up rubbish.
3. I will be tutoring several students who need extra help in certain subjects.
4. I plan to be very involved in the Yalobi village youth group. The youth in this group range from age 19-30. I will doing a variety of health talks but will primarily focus on reproductive health (HIV, STIs, safe sex) and family planning.
5. I will also be doing outreach with the teachers. Every term we visit all 4 of the villages. I will be speaking on health topics such as nutrition, the importance of sleep and physical activity.
6. The nurse in the village will be doing outreach to the 4 villages on the island of Waya and the 3 villages on the island of Waya Lailai, so I will be accompanying her as well. During these outreach sessions, I will be doing a variety of health talks.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to my role here at Ratu Naivalu! I am really looking forward to all of the programs I have established and am interested to see how they go!