Tuesday, October 22, 2013

32. The Last Day of School

Ever since the end of exams, the school has become a rollicking madhouse.  Nobody is teaching, and the kids are running wild.  

I managed to pull my classes together for fifteen minutes yesterday to make some final points.  I handed back final exams and answered any lingering questions.  I reminded them that I was leaving, and wrote my email address on the board.  Then, I surprised the kids with a small end-of-the-year "ceremony."  They absolutely loved it!  It was so different than anything that usually happens at school in Mozambique, and the kids were so happy and excited.  

I had spent half the morning gluing certificates onto every remaining sheet of scrapbook paper that I had brought with me from the States, adding stickers and signatures onto each one.  I also put together a motley collection of prizes that I had scraped together while cleaning up my house.  I made a certificate for almost every desirable trait-- good grades, good attendance, leadership, personal growth, cheerfulness, and good behavior-- and then handed them out to individual students within two giant groups of combined, sweaty classes.  I gave out more than 80 certificates in total, and the kids were so supportive!  Everybody clapped for everybody, and everyone was cheering.  The biggest moment was when I awarded the prizes for "Best Girl" and "Best Boy" in the grade.  The winners were absolutely showered with attention, and they deserved every minute of it.  

Things like this never really happen in Mozambique, so it was an overwhelmingly positive experience.  I made sure to include the kids that were in the middle of the pack, and reward them for the things that they thought had gone unnoticed.  For most of these kids, they were receiving their very first "certificate."

I left the school amidst a mass of cheers and waves and running feet.

"Bye, Tichal!"  Shouted the kids.  "See you laaay-taaaa!"

It was the perfect way to end my two years of teaching here in Mozambique.  

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