At Home in Shalom
Akwaaba (Welcome) to the Shalom Home Early Learning Development Center in Ogbojo, Ghana. Eight of our CIEE students, also affectionately known as "aunties" by Shalom teachers, are volunteering to teach 88 students aged 18 months to 6 years old.
Shalom Home is a fitting name for this gem of a school as it was started in the home of husband and wife administrative team, Mr. & Mrs. Charwetey, in 2008 and has since expanded. The couple maintains their residence on the school grounds.
With their hospitality, the Charweteys, as well as the five teachers, and support staff, have truly made us feel at home from the start.
As Shalom students' ages vary, so do our CIEE leaders' responsibilities. Auntie Charlotte and Lil are in Crèche where they engage and cater to the basic needs of Shalom's youngest learners. Following her first day in Crèche, Elise reflected, "I was absolutely amazed at the boldness of the kids, and how even though they went to school in Africa (Ghana) they are just like American kids at heart. I soon learned that the children at Crèche would steal my heart."
Auntie Katie & Bailey service Nursey 1, which is comprised of 31 energetic students, many of whom are young enough to be in the Crèche class, but are not due to space and teacher shortage. Auntie Bailey opined that she is learning from the lead teacher on how to balance firm and fair classroom management practices, which is essential for such a large group.
Yesterday, Auntie Ting and Jachelle had their first experience in Nursery 2 without the teacher. As to be expected for their first time, they were challenged to match the energy of their students. However, they came back again today ready to try different approaches with renewed energy.
In KG1, you can find Auntie Emma D. working intentionally to strengthen her relationships with the teacher and students in her class. One of her goals is to learn more about the teacher in order to foster a genuine connection, and support her students.
Auntie Lil is working with the oldest students in KG2. Yesterday the teacher was absent, and Auntie Lil was able to effectively instruct her small class in plural words, composition, and addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers. On teaching alone for the first time, Lil expressed, "I am proud that I was able to power through."
Last Friday, our leaders as a collective experienced their first Shalom physical education session, where they participated in various activities captured in the pictures below. Our leaders have been tasked with organizing and leading this Friday's session. They will share exercises and games with students from their own experiences.
This weekend we'll be visiting the Ashanti Region on an overnight trip. Stay tuned!
Kayla, Brady, and Steve