I was going to outline the schedule of a normal day at school, but 1) normal is boring and 2) days here rarely follow the ‘normal’ schedule. So instead I’ll tell you about Wednesday.
School begins with an assembly which starts anywhere between 7 : 50 am and 8 : 10am. Today was exciting because assembly started before 8. At assembly the students sing hymms, pray, listen to annocements, and sing marching songs. The length of the assembly depends on who’s leading it and their mood for that day. Assembly can be 10 minutes long to 30 +. Today’s was on the longer side.
After assembly, teaching starts. I teach between 4 and 6 periods a day. Today I had English for 6, 7, and a double period for grade 5. Classes 6 and 7 went smoothly but I had grade 5 just before lunch. This is tough because they are ready to eat and full of energy after sitting all morning. We got through it with a lot of breaks to let them stand up and move around.
Then, at 11:20am, it was time for lunch. Our school provides lunch for students as do most schools in Lesotho. For some kids its their only guaranteed meal of the day. Many schools are on a government lunch program but we are not so lunch is provided for the teachers too.
I was done teaching for the day so I was getting ready for an afternoon of lesson planning for my 6 periods on Thursday. But instead we were called into a staff meeting. The meetings usally start out in English bit quickly switch into Sesotho. I did my best to keep up. 2 hours later the meeting ended. It was announced that there would be no school on Thursday or Friday because of the elections on Saturday. I won’t say no to a surprise 4 day weekend!
After that, the students, who had been running wild the whole time, were corralled and told to clean. Every Friday students sweep the classrooms and this was suddenly a Friday.
I was standing outside the class 7 classroom when I heard shrieks from the girls inside sweeping. I turned around in time to see girls leaping over desks and jumping out windows. Where girls flee, boys rush in.
It turns out there was a snake in the classroom. Finally, after much screaming and squeling by studsnts and teachers alike, the snake was caught and killed. It was then paraded through the crowd of students and laid at the feet of my principal.
It was a small snake, about a foot long and skinny. It was the first one I’ve seen here and I wouldn’t mind if it was the last.
School closed just after 3pm with more hymms and praying. Just another normal day at Lepholisa Primary.