Happy Birthday Nana!

oh, and Happy Valentines Day to the rest of the world!

In honor od valentines day today the learners were allowed to come to schoo” wearing red and white instead of school uniforms, and then for N$2 could stay after school and watch a movie.

Today in my classes the learners took a quiz on place value and then after they got to make a connect-the-dot valentines day card and color it . I explained how in the US we give cards and sometimes small gifts to people that we love and care about and on valentines day call them valentines ( your welcome, halmark). Then at the end of class I gave them all a little valentine with a few candy hearts attached. It was great to see their faces light up when I pulled out the candy .


one of the valentines I made my learners

Today was also my turn to make tea break food for the teachers. I made a peanut butter cake with s choc pb glaze, and accompanied it with a few peanut m&ms. I just got some candy in the mail (thanks mom!) and thought sharing would  make a great little cultural exchange. I also gave each teacher a raspberry hershey’s hug, and tried to explain hershey kisses and hugs. They thought the hugs were delicious and funny.

Thats pretty much all that has happened at Ludwig Ndinda for Vday. I hope you have a wonderful day!

happy valentines day!


Gooooooood Morning madam. fine thank you and You?

…thats what the learners say every morning before class.
if an adult says to them ‘Good morning’ They all reply in unison Gooood morning madam’ or ‘goood morning sir’. The first few days of the year some learners called me sir, because they were used to saying sir from last year ( I almost prefer sir rather than madam. madam makes me feel like an old nun or something). Then the teacher will ask “how are you?” and together the learners say ” fine thank you and You” always raising the tone of  their voice when they s ay ‘and you’. I find it both comedic and annoying. sometimes I change up the order to see what the learners will do. instead of saying ‘good morning’ I might say ‘Hello grade 5’. that throws them for a loop. a few kids always start with the routine ‘goooooood morning’ but when the others dont chime in im left with 21 learners looking at eachother, confused at how they are supposed to respond.
i’ve been thinking about teaching them a new morning greeting routine but haven’t done it yet. I want to say something with a little more pep before starting my classes. any ideas?  please share! I may ask my learners as well. this whole “goooooooood morning” business is nonesense.


I’m sure I have mention a thing or two in the past about how my classroom is a shelter for all sorts of creatures: a winged animal lives in the ceiling and uses the floor as it’s toilet, there is a hornets nest in the corner, ants fall out of the hole in the ceiling by the chalkboard, and just yesterday a lizard ran across the wall during 6th grade math. Well I decided that it was time to get rid of some of them. The hornets were the most distracting during class, learners would chase them with rulers, so I asked my counterpart to help

tear down the hornets nest. We got s few of the boys to help and during break got most of it down! If we get the rest my classroom will soon be hornet free!

Wednesdays are busy days in Ms Mathias’s classroom. Every wed the learners do Worksheet for a Sticker, they have 20 min to answer 100 addition problems and if they get at least 97 correct they get a sticker on the chart in the back of the room. everyone starts with addition and then moves to sub, mult, div and then mixed. The learners get really excited about getting stickers. At the end of the day they run into my classroom to see if they’ve earned any. I love their enthusiasm.
I also teach grade 5 Basic Information Science and then computers on wednesday afternoons. Today we went over the basic parts of a book and then I read a short illustrated version of Chicken Little. I don’t know how much they all understood my story telling, but they loved the picturee in the book. I’m sure most of the learners did not havr books around to look at on the homestead when they were young, so the book I read was a real treat. I hope it will inspire some of them to start reading the books we have in the library!

After the story I taught computers. Only the learners who paid the fees are allowed to take computers, so I only had 8 learners for grade 5, and most had never used a computer before.

Teaching computer class is really frustrating. I’ve used computers since before all my learners were born. I haven’t had to think about how confusing a username could be, how  difficult it could be to control a mouse for the first time, or what the keys mean on the keyboard. Add a limited understanding of english and my grade 5 computer class is a grand ole time.  Even with a lesson plan, I end up realizing about 2 minutes in that I skipped over what the spacebar is, or how to delete a word. Needless to say, I’m learning a lot about what it takes to teach computers as i’m actually teaching the class.

About 20 min after school let out today it started pouring rain, and learners flooded into my classroom. I let them come in and play cards or chess, so long as they are quiet and clean up before they go. here is a picture of some of them playing in my classroom


ok…the picture is really blurry. sorry about that, but I guess it captures the essence of the pouring rain outside?

till next time,

Goooooooooodbye madam

Mwatje tupuka! Tupuka!

Today was our inner house athletics competition, or track meet as we might say in the states. The learners competed in shot put, high jump, javeline, long jump. And a series of running events. They were divided into a red team and blue team to make it more fun.


The red team


The blue team. They beat the blue team 300 to 189. I didnt select the teams, but I think one of the teachers may have stacked the blue team.



Sone under 15 girls doing high jump. as you can see, they go for a ‘Get over the bar anyway I can’ technique that made me fear for their necks everytime they jumped.


This is our best runner. She won the zonal and went to regionals last year but they wouldnt let her compete because she didnt have a birth certificate. Ive been asking around to see if there are ways to grt copies like you can in the us but havent gotten an answer. Hopefully we’ll get one before the competition. she’s a natural runner. it would be a shame for her to be stopped because of paperwork.


this learner ran with his arms like that all day.


Oh you know, just a learner holding an umbrella so that a teacher has some shade. Typical example of
how the teachers treat the learners as their own servants