Friday, October 10, 2008


TFFT is working to provide all of our students with quality education and one of the best ways of measuring their knowledge and progress are their grade reports. One of my main goals over the next year is to have all of scholarship students earning at least at "C" average in all of their subjects at school. Almost half of our scholarships students need some special attention oustide of the classroom to help boost their grades to this level. With lots of hard work, encouragement, and afterschool tuition we hope to see the results we desire! I have been tutoring students in English at Fikiria Kwanza on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and Usa River students on Tuesday and Thursdays. I have been using all kinds of different resources, teacher's advice, websites, syllabus books, old exams, and instructional books. I am still working to find tutors for our students in other subjects which is proving more difficult than I originally thought.

The students at Fikiria Kwanza are much younger than those at Usa River, so we have been working on learning the alphabet, counting, basic math, and spelling. With these younger kids, learning the basics is proving to be a very slow process, much slower than I could have ever imagined. I have been coming up with different learning techniques to keep them interested and excited about coming to tuition. I had number and letter file cards laminated in town in order to play games with them and this has been very successful. They love being able to get up and around with all the energy they have after school. I have also resorted to bribery - sweets for their completed homework. They loooveee Dum-Dums.

At Usa River, I am working with anywhere between 10-15 students in English. (There are always some who are earning about a "C" but still want to come to tuition.. I can't say no to that!) They range from Class 5 - Form One but they are mostly all on the same level so it allows me to teach them all together. It's a real pleasure coming to tutor at Usa River, they are so attentive and willing to learn. I'm surprised that it isn't more of a challenge to get them to dedicate one of the two free hours of the day they have to more schooling. I think it just goes to show their interest in learning. The first subject we worked on were question tags (You went to the market yesterday, didn't you?). Just like at Fikiria Kwanza, it was a very slow process, it took us three weeks to have everybody using the correct question tags.

Since then, we have moved onto explaning and recognizing nouns, pronouns, and personal prounouns. This week we started learning the correct use of "There are..." and "There is..." They seem to be catching on faster and faster with each new concept and I am seeing definite improvements in their English as well as their confidence in themselves. After spending a lot of time with these students after school, I am realizing that although their grades may not always reflect it, they are trying so hard and doing their very best.

Fikiria Kwanza and Usa River send out official grade reports at the end of every term that averages the student's three months of work together. Throughout the term, they will compile grades per month for students as well. The grade averages for September are to be finished by the schools today, I'm looking forward to seeing what improvements have been made. I realize that boosting all of our students to a "C" will be a slow, working progress over the next year but every time they remember that H comes after G or learn how to spell three or know that cat is a noun or can read a whole paragraphy of a story, I know that eventually we will get there!

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