Teaching at George Rench Memorial High School

I have had multiple people question me as to what it means to be the teacher at George Rench Memorial High School, Kudjip, PNG. So, I figured it would be a good idea to write my first blog post (in a while) about this.

How does it work?

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My four students working on various assignments. The classroom consists of desks along the left wall, a ping pong table, and a couch/reading nook area on the right. (The picture is taken from my desk.)

I have four students: a seventh grader, a tenth grader, an eleventh grader and a twelve grader. We are all in the same room together. Each of the students have their own curriculum and classes, based on their parent’s choices. Most of the classes come with a “DVD teacher” that teaches the subject and assigns the homework. The students, being in high school, are encouraged to be independent and decide how to plan their day. Most of them get into their own rhythm (an example would be: history, english, math, and then science). The day starts at 8:00AM with devotions run by my Mom. Lunch is from 12:00-1:00PM and the students go home to eat with their families. Electives are from 2:00-3:00PM. Currently they all do art on Monday with my Mom. Tuesday and Wednesday’s they split up and each group teaches an elective to the elementary school (P.E. and Library respectively). Thursday is driver’s ed. for the two oldest students. After school is “finished” for the day they can either stay at the high school to continue their school work or do homework (they all have keys), or they go home and do homework there. It is very relaxed, and based on each of the students preferences.

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Lukas subbed for our driver’s ed. instructor who was gone for two weeks. He taught them how to change the tires on one of the land cruisers.

What do I do?

My job as “Teacher Daniella” (I feel like I am too young to be “Aunt Daniella” seeing as my brother is one of my students) has many facets:

  • I set up 2-week schedules for each of the students based on the schedules given by their curricula.
  • I keep track of where they are and help them prioritize and remember projects and other assignments.
  • I make sure that they finish the semesters when they need to (either the end of school or earlier for some that have to head back to the United States).
  • I answer any questions from memory or with the aid of teacher guides or looking it up on-line.
  • I help them understand concepts that were not made clear enough in their textbooks or by their DVD teacher.
  • I make decisions on specific requirements for projects and try to make it as consistent as possible for each of my students.
  • I communicate with parents on where their student is in their schedule and grades, as well as let them know if I have any questions or concerns.
  • I grade homework, quizzes, tests, and projects.
  • The parents have also asked that I organize the classroom and storage room for the high school at some point. I am trying to get it done by the end of April since baby #2 will be coming and I am trying to get as much done as possible before I get too big to be moving around text books.

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    At my desk setting up schedules for the week.

Of course, those are just what is needed to keep track of where they are academically. For those of you have taught or been in a mentoring relationship, you know that much more is needed to have a healthy, thriving student. With that in mind I have been focusing on:

  • Encouraging the students to keep learning and not give up.
  • Helping them set up goals, academic and personal, and coming alongside them to accomplish those goals.
  • Being intentional about seeing where each of my students is struggling, but also where they are excelling.
  • Trying to figure out how to help them work on their struggles, to better prepare them for the future (whether that includes further academics or not).
  • Being consistent in expectations and sometimes making them do what they do not want to do (but are thankful for later on…at least that is the hope).
  • I have also been trying to also give them some fun “High School memories.” This will be posted about in “Teaching at George Rench Memorial High School Part 2”.

     

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Friday morning prayer time before school starts for the day.

How can you pray?

  • Pray that God will grant me wisdom and love to impact each of my students how He wants.
  • Pray that I will have the strength to continue to teach well as I enter my third trimester.
  • Pray that God will continue to work in each of my students lives.

Thank you so much for your partnership!

I am so thankful to see how God is using me to encourage and impact each of my students. I am thankful that I have been able to answer His call, and I am excited to see where He will be taking me as I finish up this school year and teach for another year. Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership. Lukas and I are both so grateful for each and every one of you that God has placed with us on this journey. I also know that my students and their parents are very thankful to have me here. So thank you!

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