As you probably know, I had a goal of doing The World Map Project with my Form One students this term. About two weeks ago I wasn’t sure it was possible. Our deadline was Tuesday June 4th, being that national exams would begin that day and I wouldn’t see my kids for two weeks. After some debate I decided to go forward with the project, knowing that it would be a tight schedule but a lot of fun.
Last Monday I bought supplies in Zomba with Caeser and had a man lay concrete on the wall to create a smooth surface Tuesday and Wednesday. I explained the project and answered questions for my two classes that day, so that on Thursday morning we were ready to start… leaving 5 days to complete the map.
On Thursday we painted the surface white and then ocean blue. On Friday we drew in the grid lines… this was a very time-consuming task and we made a lot of mistakes. One of those mistakes was standing in the sun all day and not wearing sunscreen on my neck.
The students met me on Saturday morning and we drew in all the shapes while listening to some music and having a small dance party. Though it was stressful supervising so many students (too many cooks in the kitchen) who only sometimes understand what I’m saying, I was feeling optimistic. But then on Sunday we got to a late start due to some church events taking place, and we didn’t even get through half as much work as I expected we would. This was the first time I had doubted that we’d finish.
So today was the last day of school before exams and we still had so much work left to do. We started right away at 7:30, and by 2:00 (when school ends) we had done quite a lot- but we still weren’t finished. I was congratulating them on a job well done and trying to come up with a contingency plan when a student stopped me and said “Madam, we will keep going.” I suggested maybe they wanted to go home and eat lunch, but they wanted to power through. I was happily surprised, and their determination re-motivated me. We bought more white paint and some snacks, and about a dozen kids stayed with me until it started to get dark.
We worked until we could no longer see. We’re about 95% done- with just some finishing touches and labeling left to complete. Four crazy boys who stayed with me until 5:30 agreed that we would meet tomorrow at 6am, to truly finish the thing before exams begin at 8. We worked from 7:30 to 5:30 today and the map is looking beautiful. I’m so proud of my kids and awed by their enthusiasm and dedication. This has been a wonderful teaching experience. Final pictures will be posted tomorrow!