The teaching room is actually a computer lab. The monastery gives course in word processing and Excel to local residents on Thursdays. There are 12 computers and a projector. The whiteboard is attached over the window at one end of the room, which is beside an enormous hall where the 800 children attending the school have assembly and pay homage to the head monk who is the principle of the school. When he started the school 15 years ago, he had one building and around 100 children who came for classes. Currently, there are some 8 buildings which have been donated from Taiwan, Germany, and Japan to house over 800 children from Grade 1 through to Grade 8.
The return bus journey passed without comment or anything remarkable, which as I learnt from later journeys is the way I prefer it! After we got off the bus, Sandi flagged down a taxi to return for an afternoon of work in the office and I felt very enthusiastic about the warm reception and general atmosphere of my class.
My students have a low level of English, which means that teacher training will have to be put on hold as I need to improve the English ability of my teachers before they are able to teach. I know that it is simply a different method of instruction. I will teach the teachers the activities which they can then use in their own classrooms. It might be slightly more mechanical than I would prefer, as usually I like my students to use my lessons and instruction as a platform for which to create their own activities. I do firmly believe that leading by example is very important when it comes to teacher training, and I am expecting good things from my first class in Myanmar.
NEH Coordinator and Teacher Trainer