I for one have been averaging 18 hours of sleep per day and wishing for more. I have some run-down lurgy which has resulted in a constant headache, swollen glands and vomiting. As of now, there is only pain and swelling in the right side of my throat and head. Either I am improving or the super bug has decided to launch a stylized attack, taking down each of my defenses separately instead of wasting manpower to spread to all fronts. My trainee's mother has kindly boiled potatoes for me to make me feel more at home, despite insisting that they don’t taste good. As is always the way when one is sick, especially with something which affects the throat, eating has slipped down the priority list for me as it hurts. It is sweltering here most days anyway and there isn’t a surplus of drinking water so there is that to contend with as well. I am starting to see why we lost the Empire; we became weak and susceptible to lurgies which made short work of us in these tropical climates.
On Sunday, we were scheduled to have a speaking class with the volunteer teachers. Four groups, 45 minutes each of sitting and looking at each other. Just my idea of a good productive Sunday morning. I jest. But, knowing the level of the volunteer teachers, I thought that it would be much better to put them to use as TAs in the Sunday morning class. Something I really want to encourage in the teachers here is a sense of talking to each other about any problems they might have, or even just sharing ideas on how best to teach a tricky topic.
It turns out that a mere sketch of activities does not work for a trainee. For myself it would be OK; I have enough experience to fall back on. He does not. But, he can now see when the students are bored and he really cares. He wants to make each lesson better and keep repeating the lesson until it is textbook perfect. I think at this point, I am not able to state that the training has been a success in terms of ability but in terms of perspective, we are there. The trainee understands and can fully see the benefits of planning, even if he doesn’t always choose to avail himself of those benefits. He also confirmed to me today that the monk is starting to come round to the positive need for planning. I think it had something to do with the waking up at 3 am…
NEH Coordinator and Teacher Trainer