Saturday, October 5, 2013

Harare International School, Zimbabwe

his001Sara and I are the luckiest two crackpot poets on earth. I write this sitting in the lovely home of Elementary school principal Kari Boazman and her husband Hob who is currently frying bacon for our breakfast here in Harare, Zimbabwe.

We have just finished a three day visit to Harare international School where we worked with students grades K thru 9. Our visit was directed and produced by librarian extraordinaire Mellissa Chifokoyo.

his002Three days was just not enough time to spend with these stellar students – but it was enough time to know we’d love to come back and work with this fine staff and  kids again. We started with a couple assemblies – one for elementary and one for the upper school and then Sara and I split up and lead writing workshops with the kids.

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Peacocks and guinea hens roamed the campus squawking like upset cats as we worked on lessons in figurative language, narrative structure and public speaking skills.  I don’t know what the bird’s problems were – we were having a great time – perhaps they knew they were missing out on all the fun. Bird brains, go figure.

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HIS is an IB school and they practice the PYP and MYP brand of elementary and middle school pedagogy. To those outside of the education world acronym crowd – suffice it to say they teach kids right. Inquiry based learning encouraging the students curiosity and critical thinking skills as opposed to prep for some bubble test. our style of writing instruction just meshes with this teaching strategy. of course an enthusiastic teaching staff and administrators doesn’t hurt either.

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HIS was a great way for us to tip our toes in sub Saharan Africa – you won’t have to ask twice to get us back!

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