‘Thank you mam for teaching us’ – this is how the children from the Gange School start and finish every lesson. Can you imagine students in England saying this? I certainly can’t. One thing is clear, these children want to learn and are appreciative of anyone who teaches them. Yes they giggle, talk over you and shout across the room, but that is all part of their excitement, never did I hear them moan or groan about the work they were doing.
As I was warned the first day I was given a class and left to my own devices. I could teach whatever I wanted, however I wanted to teach it. The kids were eager to learn about where I was from and what life was like in my country so most of the first lesson with each class was spent telling the kids about England, the United Kingdom, my family and job back home. I had them introduce themselves using adjectives and verbs to describe their likes and hobbies. The first day flew by, teaching three different classes ranging from 9 – 14.
The second day I planned to continue teaching where their teacher had left off from in their text books, but 5 minutes into the lesson and teacher and pupils were clearly unimpressed and wanted me to teach them something new, something different. Thinking on my feet I started to teach them about alliteration.
The week’s lessons then started to pan out in my head and I decided to teach them various techniques for poetry and different types of poems ending with them writing their own poem. I taught them rhyming, alliteration, adjectives and similes. Using simpler ideas for the younger children.
When my last day arrived I had them writing their poems on paper I had brought in for them to decorate and take home to someone in their family. Instead EVERY student gave their poem to me, some writing their poem about me or England. I was so touched it took everything in me to hold back the tears.
I left my last day weighed down with poems, sweets, fresh plums, flowers and various other gifts from the students and promises to visit again one day. I’m sure I will.
To use some of the lesson plans I used in my classes read my post on Teaching English as a Foreign Language – Top Tips and Lesson Plans