Not all those who wander are lost

Two rehabilitation counselor students doing an internship at school teaching Balinese children.

My teaching (Kerttu)

I have been teaching now for 6 weeks. It sounds like a lot but still the weeks have gone by so fast. My first week I taught with another volunteer from Germany but after that I was on my own. It took me many weeks before I got the feeling that I can handle it and got the confidence also. Before I came here I never thought that I’m going to teach alone but now I’m pretty glad that I needed to really push myself out from the comfort zone and that’s why I believe that I have really learned a lot.

I have three different classes. One class I have everyday and that’s with the little ones ages 7-11. They are so cute and every time they’re full of energy (sometimes little bit too much). What surprised me was that even if they’re so wild and energetic they still listen to me and really try their best to do all the assignments, as long as they aren’t too easy and boring for them. That’s why I need to plan every time something new and more creative for them so they stay interested. Usually I have 6 to 10 kids so not too many but you can really see when there’s more kids than usual because it gets much harder to handle the big group. The biggest challenge is definitely make all of them learn the same things, which is very hard because they are different ages and their level vary a lot also. Some kids know all the subjects already when others struggle more with them.

In the rice fields with my little ones :)

In the rice fields with my little ones 🙂

In two other classes I have older kids with ages 13-17. One class I have every Monday and Wednesday and the other every Tuesday and Thursday. In other class I have about 10 students and the other one usually almost 30 students. At first it was very hard to work with a such a big group but now when I’ve got the confidence and I have got used to it I think that I’m doing pretty well. I like my older ones very much and it so fun to teach with them and when they can understand English better than the little ones the communication is easier also. With these students I also love their enthusiasm to learn. Let’s not also forget that the kids come to the school voluntarily in the afternoon after their “real” school day. The challenge in these classes is also the different English levels between them. Especially the boys are always little behind the girls so it needs extra work to get them all to learn the subjects properly.

My student's drawing. We were learning word on the beach and building sentences about the picture.

My student’s drawing. We were learning words from “on the beach” and building sentences about the picture.

So because I have three classes I really need to do my planning every day before school. After school I also have three diaries that I need to report the summary of what happened in my classes. That is actually very good system so I can also check what did we do for example last week and what do we still need to practice etc. I believe it is also very useful to the stuff in the program so they can see what all the volunteers have been up to and what could they do to make the classes better and more beneficial for the children.

The time surely flies here and even though now the 3 months feel too less I’m happy that I had at least that. I think you only get to know the children, school, teaching and the system when you’re here long enough time. I am already counting days when this is going to end because I know it’s going to be too soon and definitely too hard. For now just need to enjoy the rest of the time and try to make the best out of it.