Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spelling Bee

Brad, myself and all the top spellers of our district.
Super nervous
Spelling Bee

One of my favorite projects I have done here in Samoa! There are 5 schools in my school. Brad and I went around to all of them and gave a spelling test for 5th to 8th grade. The top 2 students in each grade were able to go to the spelling bee. The kids LOVED the event! We invited parents and more people came than we anticipated.
While I was giving the test in some schools the teachers were telling the students how to spell the words. Luckily that did not happen at the actual spelling bee.
One problem we did run into was the SRO helping us with the event kept giving chances to some of the students. At times one student would get over 3 minutes to try and spell a word. "One more chance," he would say. Then, "What do you think Ms. Mati? I say, once more. One more chance." It was rather funny but the teachers complained about it later.
Hey it that is the ONLY thing they complain about it then I feel it was successful!
While Brad and I were putting the event together the teachers would ask about food and who is going to prepare it. (It's Fa'aSamoa or Samoan tradition to have food at EVERYTHING)
Ms. Mati- it is your program. You must provide the tea. (Tea meaning meal or food).

I told them it is my program so I will provide the event. However, it is their Fa'aSamoa so they must provide the food.
More laughter.
After them grumbling a bit about it in a joking way, I then said the Spelling Bee is for the children, not for their stomachs.
Laughter that ended the discussion. There was no food at the event.
Super creepy Pule

All the students involved got a certificate and a prize for participating. 1st, 2nd and 3rd got bigger prizes and a student at the end I overheard say, "This is awesome!!" in perfect English!
I do not think any of these students have ever been to an event like this. I hope it encourages them to study their English spelling. I know they will tell their friends about the even and will encourage them as well.
Brad and I are going to do the Spelling Bee again next term. Hopefully we will get other Volunteers and Districts involved.
Eventually have a Spelling Bee for the whole island of Savai'i!
My winners
Proud of them all

Some parents who came to watch

The next day at school.
Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
On our way to the Spelling Bee!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Community Day

Community Day

The purpose of Community Day is for the parents to come and observe what is happening at school and ask teachers how their child is doing in school. I think a lot of schools in Samoa followed that program, however, mine did not.
It was a full day of Samoan skits, songs, dances and turned into a Tausala (charity to raise money). It was a lot of fun of course but... when MESC showed (Ministry of Education) they were very confused. Not surprised but confused.
Some parts of the program was educational. The older students showed what they did for their Science Fair and the younger students sang an educational song in English... past that though it was all dancing and raising money.
The entire week students did not have class and teachers did not teach. The entire week was focused on practicing for Community Day.
My Principal asked me to be in charge of the P.E. and Health section of the program. SO- of course I did yoga. It's funny, at times I have to walk Samoans through their own thinking process. P- "Yes Mati you do the Health and P.E." Me- "Great! So can I start teaching the kids Yoga again?" P- "I think you should start that next term." M- "Okay cool. What day is Community Day?" P- "September 19th." Me- "Nice. Hey what day does Term 4 start?" P- "October 6th. Oi! Mati, you should teach the kids Yoga before next term!!" Ya, I know... She did the same thing with the length she wanted my section to be.
Teaching the kids Yoga again felt really great! The students pick up on it very quickly and I know they enjoy it. It's something new and a great workout for their bodies. Plus I give them at least 3 minutes to settle and breath. I hope it expands their minds for them to look more into it when they are older and I am gone.
The students love Yoga! I teach them a few times a week and at times at my Homework Center. They are so impressive and catch on the poses quick. They make me so proud!
My Teaching staff plus Ake!

Ready for the show
They learned the poses so quick!
Year 7 ad 8 doing Yoga

Science Fair Project
Community Day Schedule

With my Year 7 students