I had a student cry today, during class. Actually it was during an exam. It was the girl you would think would never cry – the athletic one who thrives on competition. The one who is always smiling. And yet, as she stared at the physics problem in front of her and I walked past her desk, all it took was for me to say, “You can’t leave it blank” and the tears came instantly. And my heart ached as I hoped her spirit wasn’t broken.
The students have been either in review sessions or taking exams for the last 5 days straight. Honestly, my North American style of teaching and testing and culture was taken aback by the style and system of exams here. But what struck me was the desire to excel and how much they cared about exams. There was no need to motivate to do well or to try and convince students to do their best. They came to any review session that was offered. They memorized and studied and hardly slept. And today, it showed. There was little to no energy left as they entered their last exam. They had reached their breaking point and felt a tremendous amount of pressure to pass. Last night I watched them whip through the formulas and solve problems that today they could hardly even copy.
The first day of exams started off with a few glitches. We never have students absent and we had two students not there. One of the girls was heading home Sunday night after spending the day at the school studying and was in an accident falling off her bike. Unfortunately she has a head injury. I went to the house of the other student and he came out of the house scratching. I had noticed a bad case of scabies the week before, but he was afraid it was chicken pox and didn’t want to go to school and itch all day. I reassured him, gave him some cream and he came to school late. Still itching. Thankfully these were the only absences we had all week.
Their desire and stamina though encouraged me, as well as their scores on my exam. A student who has been getting low scores and we put on the “in danger” list got a 91% on my exam. And so…. we continue on. One quarter down. One student at a time. With the hope that one will reach hundreds who will reach hundreds more. Here are some photos of the “fun”…
During one of the twelve exams
Review session at 8 PM at night after five exams and three days of constant studying… and they were still asking for another problem!
Continue to pray please that they would experience the difference in the school and be rewarded for their studying.