I knew full-well that during my brief trip out of the village, I was leaving my trainee vulnerable to changes.
I suspected that by my return, the schedule would have changed unrecognizably and I would be left reeling while trying to employ the best damage control I would be able to manage in the circumstances. Van and I were able to have a 2 hour meeting, but everything was silent on the village front.
Following my return, 6 students descended upon the house during the time that I had set aside for planning. That is one of the big problems that is faced in the village; the utter lack of privacy and spare time to plan. Because no-one seems to care about planning or realize its importance, they are happy to interrupt.
The head monk has promised to help his friend in the next village. The village across the lake from the next one if we are being pedantic. It is where we went to see the monk ceremony a few weeks back. In fact, it was probably only two weeks ago but time here is so dazed and distant. It feels as though I have never been elsewhere and yet each day looms on from early dawn to the carpet of Apollo being drawn across the night sky.
The head monk wants my trainee to go to the next village to teach. His English, is, after all the best in the village. However, I am concerned with this proposal and my student is beside himself. Ever being one for compromise, the monk has deigned that 3 other teachers can go in his place, but in order to have everything running smoothly, these other three teachers will teach the NEH curriculum. The trainee is also not happy. He and the second trainee understand how tough the planning and teaching process is. He states that hands down it will be a disaster if these untrained individuals teach from our lessons plans. Obviously the monk is unhappy to hear this.
The teacher who was instructed to get my advice on lesson planned is pouty to say the least. She squeaked in high tones something about the Sayadaw followed by a reproachful look at our trainee who replied in kind with a distasteful tone of his own and a few warnings shots that could wither the most healthy of trees.
It is frustrating because we all have the same end goal; better instruction for the students. We just don’t seem to agree on how to reach that end goal. Each party feels that their method is superior to the other players at the table.
NEH Coordinator and Teacher Trainer
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