My lack of blogging has been from my recent trip to Jamaica I took. Jamaica is known as the “no problem country” but I was soon to point out many “problems ” I found. Most people in Jamaica make minimum wage, and to them, that means only $55.00 a week! Now take that and add it to a 16.5% tax on almost all goods and mortgage rates as high as 33% and to me, that’s a problem. Many people can only afford to build one room of a house at a time, and most people never see their houses complete, it is their grand children, or even great- grandchildren who end up completing the house.
I asked about teachers and education. Now, education is mandatory in Jamaica but many drop out by the age of 14 because they need to make money to support their families. Jamaica has a high population of children and due to this, many schools run on a shift system. The morning shift is from 7:30 am – 12:30 and the afternoon session is from 12:30 – 5:30 pm. This means that most teachers put in 10 hours of work a day, not to mention prep time on top of that. The wage of teachers is not well-known in Jamaica, since it is not much more than minimum wage.
A lot of what I had learnt on my vacation made me quite sad, when I confronted them on the “problems” they face, they simply replied “in Jamaica we don’t have problems, only situations and we can overcome situations.” Their outlook on life is positive, and for a simple reason: they are alive, living, and they know many places out there are much, much worse.
What a fabulous outlook on life. This made me reflect on my own life and how blessed I am. I decided to adopt this way of thinking and start living in the moment, because really who has problems?
Early Learning Centre in Jamaica
School Children in uniform
No Problem, Mon
I read the story “Froggy Gets Dressed” by Jonathan London to the grade 1 class I am mentoring with. They loved it! Here is a picture of me reading the story and the voices of some of the children responding to the book.
Lets talk about mental illness.
This is Dragulus. She is the queen of planet Dragus. She, and all of the aliens she reins over, enjoy spending their days swimming in lakes and readings romance novels on the beach. On Dragus, they flash photos of the aliens visiting their planet on billboards around the beaches on Dragus, this is a photo of Dragulus posted at the entrance of the planet for all visitors to see upon arrival.
What’s The Meme:
What’s In A Name:
My full name is Amanda Lea Leik. My first name, Amanda, was chosen the day parents seen me. My parents were told that they were having a boy, so in preparation for their “boy” coming they chose a name, Kylan. When I was born, much to their surprise, I was a girl. My parents did not want to name me Kylan, but as soon as they held me they both agreed Amanda should be my name.
My middle name was named after my Mom’s best friend. Growing up on a farm it was difficult to drive into town to meet up with friends so most days my Mom met up with her friend Lea. To this day, even though Lea lives in Calgary, they talk every night and visit each other once a year.
My last name, Leik, pernounced “like” has a German origin and travelled to Canada with my Great-grandparents.
I have had contact with students in grade 1 and grade 6. I was noticing that at times Skype would cut in and out… I am planning on reading stories to the children and having this type of connection is not ideal. To try to bypass technology failing me, I have recorded videos of me reading the stories and uploaded them to YouTube. I am reading “Froggy Gets Dressed” by Jonathan London to the grade 1’s and are going to talk a bit about hibernation.
I am reading “If Your Not From The Prairie” by David Bouchard to the grade 6’s and we are going to talk a little bit about the differences associated with living on the prairies vs. living near the ocean.
More to come!
For my mentorship project I have been paired up with Lorraine Leo. A teacher of technology at Jackson School in Newton, MA. I have had the opportunity to Skype in with her last week to introduce myself, and learn a little about what she does. I have had the privilege of, already, gaining many useful resources from her. Her students are working on projects on a program called Scratch. http://scratch.mit.edu/ This is a program that her grade 1’s are working on. It is a fabulous program that allows people to create and share their own interactive story. The children in her classes have the the privilege from Skyping in with people from all over the world from Russia to Japan. I had the opportunity to become a part of a 3-way Skype call with a musician by the name of Josh. Josh creates renditions of classic lullaby s that the children are currently studying. They’re taking one of his songs and creating a Scratch video with it.
What am I doing? We have discussed me Skyping in on Tuesdays with a grade 1 class and Wednesdays with a grade 6 classroom. This week I am just meeting the children and allowing them to ask me any questions they’d like. Next week, I will be reading a story with the grade ones and inviting them to play interactive online game with me. For the grade 6’s, I will be reading the story, “If Your Not From The Prairies” by David Bouchard. From here, I will be creating a google presentation for the children to see my take from the book, using my own pictures. The children will then choose a poem about living close to the ocean and put some pictures to it as well!
I am very excited to begin this project and look forward to learning all I can from Lorraine and her students.