Credit to Kylah Woods and Rebekah Myers

Two Years, Three Schools

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Isaac Finds an Atmosphere That Helps Him Understand and Learn More Effectively

As opposed to his previous schools, at NCNAA, Isaac finds an atmosphere that helps him understand the material and learn more effectively

Published: November 26, 2018

Isaac walks on the Ugandan road to school.

His uniform can’t get dirty.

He can’t be late.

He needs to have his homework done.

Sloppy dress is reprimanded by suspension or beatings, tardiness by making the student pick up trash around the school and missing assignments by a trip to the principal’s office.

While that school is halfway across the world —and its practices are very different— Isaac’s first seven years of education had the same goal as his last two years of schooling: to teach the students.

“In Uganda, in one class [the] student [count] would get to like a hundred, and it’s hard to listen to the teacher when they put you in a seat in the back,” Isaac said. “[If] the teacher, said something and you missed it, you missed it.”

Isaac’s last months of seventh grade were spent in Georgia. He was put directly into the ESOL class and was tested for English proficiency. Within the next four days, his ESOL class was replaced by a higher level English class. Isaac recalls a fast paced environment, with tests every Friday with —what felt like— little preparation.

“It was harder to understand because every time we would move onto something new,” Isaac said. “Every Friday we would have tests, and it was kind of hard for me to understand.”

Isaac started his eighth grade year at NCNAA. He found that they taught at a slower place, allowing the students to understand the material being given to them for those same core classes, but now in a sheltered environment. Isaac finds that there are more opportunities to get help from his teachers at NCNAA. For example, students have the option to come in for help during their lunch time. This time is supplemental to time spent in class. Teachers build trust and relationships with the students, creating a family-like atmosphere —one where students can comfortably be themselves.

“[It makes the students] more open to asking questions,” Health teacher Shanta Rasheed said. ”When you’re more open and relaxed, you can then share with the teacher and tell them to tell them ‘I didn’t understand that can you say that again?’ or ‘Could you reword that?’”

Issac finds that the different teaching style works well for him. In addition to a more openness between teachers and students, Isaac feels that the students here are on the same level with their English. They’re in a place where they can help each other with school work. At NCNAA the teachers can tailor their lessons to their students’ needs.

“The teachers they all treat all of us the same way and we all learn the same way,” Isaac said. “Here, [at NCNAA] there isn’t classes that don’t speak English and classes that do. Here it’s all the same.”

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