Translation: Naomi Gal
13.45 Far'ata. Adam and Mickey are each in their classrooms. Adam teaches the older girls, about 20 in number, and this time five boys as well, high school students. To assist him there is an older woman from the village who came to help the teachers maintain the order (in the attachment Adam tells about teaching the groups in Frata and Imtin).
Mickey is in the class with the younger girls. It seems that besides learning, the children demand class’ games, and if this is an opportunity to practice their English and pass their time pleasantly - it is for the better.
15:00 Imatin. Lilka and Dvorka arrive and are soon joined by Mickey and Adam after completing the activity in Frata nearby. Before we reached the village we wondered if all the girls we met last week will again come today. Within fifteen minutes there were already about 130 girls sitting in the classrooms. In Lilka and Devorka’s ninth and eighth grades there were about 30 students in each class, 35 older students in Adam’s class and more than 40 in the junior class with Mickey.
We asked ahead of time to prepare for us four classrooms, but for next week we will need already an additional classroom, so we can divide Mickey’s junior class into 2 groups. As is well known, it’s better to create smaller groups to enable effective learning.
In our curricula we decided to put emphasis on what was mostly lacking at school – developing oral expressions and using techniques and games that promote active use of language. Adam spends time developing reading comprehension in special ways.
What stands out and is moving in each of the classes is the enthusiasm of the girls, their kindness and willingness to cooperate in any new task proposed in class. The level of knowledge is not impressive, except a few that demonstrate a better ability, and a few in each class where it is apparent that it is important for them to excel, and are not shy.
The warm attitude of the girls is probably also the reason why at the end of each lesson, we the teachers, leave feeling a real uplifting, and are anxious to again meet the girls and older women next time.
The surprise in meeting with Imtin’s residents is not only the number of the girls that is so great and their serious approach to the activity with us, but the community attitude of the adult women and their organizational capacities. Although H. the Head of the Village was the first who asked to meet us about teaching the children, it is unclear whether he did so on his own initiative or at the women’s initiative.
We were surprised and pleased when during the first lesson almost in every class one of the older women joined to ensure the order in such large groups. This time they made sure to join each one of the classes. We are unsure if we need this help, but no doubt the message transmitted to the girls is that learning is an important issue, and that the families in the village are interested in it.
For us this is a good and special feeling; in the framework created, it is clear to everyone that the women of the village were the initiators, and now they are the organizers and the leaders of this 'project' while we are just teachers who come willingly to participate and help, and thus also strengthen the ties with them.
Some of the women who assist are teachers and one of them is the coordinator. Most of them are Nurit’s students, she has been teaching them Hebrew for several months now. It is nice to see how these students actually try to communicate with us in Hebrew. However, there is no doubt that the decision to teach their girls English (and not Hebrew) is not at all coincidental, and is easy to understand.
We haven’t yet had the time to talk to the students and the organizers about why is it that in Imtin only girls come to study with us. We will discuss this later, although if the boys wanted to join too – it would probably be impossible on account of the huge number.