Teaching at a Funeral
Having no school building makes teaching difficult, especially when there is a falavelave in the village. Matai meetings cause some distractions as well as the women meetings where the nurses come to give babies shots, but I would have to say the most distracting falavelave is a funeral.
Because of the funeral being in the village, and it being so close, there were many teachers missing from school throughout parts of the day, which made me have to double up classes. I don’t mind doing this occasionally; however, with 60 or more students of different ability levels in a room for several hours, it is difficult to do more than play games or sing.
What can be difficult is when people are always telling me to quiet the children down when they are not even talking loud. Many others think that on the days of funerals, children should just sit respectfully, without talking (or sometimes doing any other work).
Funerals often have a marching band or parade component, and when this happens, a teacher who wants to teach should just throw everything out the window. I mean how can you seriously compete with that?
Teaching here definitely has different challenges that I never expected encountering in America.