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Latest from Shelley — Volunteer Teacher in Batase Village

Hello from Batase! I thought it was about time I let you guys know how I am going. Life in the village has been wonderful the past few weeks, although extremely cold!!! However it’s warming up now which I’m very happy about.

Ranjan has been fantastic in making sure that I’m ok, he’s very attentive and I’m sure that if I had any problems he would try his best to sort them out. He always makes sure I’ve had my lunch, and is looking out for my needs.

Tokmaya and Binita have also been wonderful and I love talking to them down in the kitchen. They always ask if I like something or if there’s too much salt or chilli in the food.

School has been great, I usually teach 5 periods a day. At the moment there are two teachers who are on placement for their teaching degrees so the classes have changed a little bit. I have two classes (4 and 5) where I teach alone and the other periods I’m usually teaching with Biima. If a teacher is away for exams or sick then I take their class.

Building a new school

Class 4 can sometimes be quite challenging by myself but I found that if I do activities I’ve designed, they are eager to learn. So the lessons will always be split into half the time doing an activity from the text book and half the time doing an activity I’ve designed. Or sometimes I take an activity from the book and change it up, like matching words with meanings; I might make flash cards instead of book work. It’s the same content just delivered in a in a different way and usually helps to engage the kids who get quite bored of working out of a book.

Class 5 I have designed a unit of work for them. It’s on their village. So I have them making maps of Batase and writing out directions from one place to another. Once we’ve finished that we can practise writing sentences using examples about the village and I think I might like to try getting the students to write a play, and acting it out and I can film it on my tablet.

Teaching with Biima is really good, she’s very eager to improve her English and I think a devoted teacher. She is now working with the year 7s on essay writing. We get together regularly to discuss English and talk about different teaching techniques. She’s really taking on board the activities that I and the other volunteers have used to use in her own lessons. I also help her out with class 1 which is challenging for both of us, as neither of us can speak Tamang.

The other night a tiger or a leopard caught Jack! From just outside the kitchen in the garden. I was helping Anjana and Bettiemaya with their homework when we heard screaming and shouting. Everybody ran to the kitchen so quickly and from all the fuss and noise it let Jack go. I think it’s a miracle!! He only had saliva all over him but that’s it. No scratches or bites.

I am having a wonderful time here and I appreciate all the effort that went into making such a valuable program as this. I am especially grateful to Ranjan, Binita and Tokmaya for being so attentive and looking after me!

~Shelley

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