The past two weeks, life as a trainee teacher...
Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
A look in the life on a trainee teacher.
For the past two weeks we have been getting trained by Jo at Unawatuna school, this week we have gone to our own schools to teach our own classes but I will write about that next blog!
First of all thank you so much for all your messages on my blog. It was amazing to read them and know I hadn't been forgotten! Sorry about the bad English from a supposed English teacher but I'm in a rush!
The past two weeks..
The days began at 5:30, Jo came round every day at 6 to help us put our saris on, the first day it took an hour, but we have now got it down to 20 minutes! We now miss Jo's cheery presence in the morning! We then spent the rest of the days shadowing Jo, progressing on to planning and performing our own lessons, which were really enjoyable!
Most of our first day was taken up buy a produce sale. The schools way of teaching commerce to younger children is to ask them to bring in produce from home and set up their own stall to sell. |It seems a really good idea! Lakshmee bought me a fresh sugar cane, which tasted surprisingly un-sugary. The boys have been bringing in their guitars into school every day, which the kids loved and we spent the days teaching them English songs etc. One of the classes showered us in pictures whenever we walked in and they are now decorating our home!
Our first ever outing in our saris exploring Unawatuna Road was fab. Everyone smiled and waved and some people stopped what they were doing in shock! It was a massive ego boost having people go, aah beautiful, beautiful sari. We had expected most people to stop and laugh!
Last weekend we went to Hikkadua, which is a 40 minutes bus ride to the West, quite touristy but a good spot for surfing. Herbie has learned a lesson about the local currents as when surfing he found himself in dangerous water and had to be rescued by local surfers, he is ok, and now says he has a greater appreciation of life! It was nice to have a relaxing weekend on the beach and catch up on writing letters, doing a bit of shopping and writing my diary.
We spent last Sunday afternoon exploring parts of the local area. We walked for half an hour and spotted an iguana which was really cool. It was an amazing walk, we walked past one corrugated iron shack beside the railway and a little boy ran out shouting "MEESTER EMMA MEESTER EMMA HELLOOOOO" (no I have't suddenly sprouted a moustache and beard he was only 6 ok!)
Then possibly one of the funniest things happened . A tuk-tuk passed us with two monks in it. Woman are not supposed to look at monks, they are supposed to avert their eyes to their shoes. Once the tuk tuk had driven past the monk turned round and WINKED at us!
You will be pleased to know that we have moved on from toast and papaya jam. The Erin and Emma surprise cookbook has been born. Mostly we buy lots of veg and try to think of inventive ways to cook them over a gas cooker! My favourite so far is poppadom pizza!
We ate possibly the best fudge ever, definitely deserves a heading of its own. Thank you Anna!
We meet the famous Agnes
Agnes is the boy's host who came last Wednesday to teach us some Sri Lankan cooking. We had heard a lot of things about her she is a really kind and generous woman, who can be quite direct, for example, when I first see your face I think hmmm, but now I like it!
She taught us how to make the most delicious chicken curry and roti ever! Me and Erin were a bit wimpy about the chicken, as Agne's method was to put the whole chicken, ribs, wings, gore and all. Me and Erin kindly donated the bloodier bits to Michael and Herbie. However we are looking forward to making it again!
After School Clubs
The past two weeks we have been trying to set up girl's sports clubs in Unawatuna school. The girls were at first very reluctant to play but since Jo suggested we gate crashed a grade 13 class to let them try ultimate Frisbee- they love it. And we now have a very keen ultimate Frisbee team! (Erin is a really good ultimate Frisbee player) I have started a badminton club which has been very successful, we have 10 girls, although we do not have enough raquets, only one shuttle and play between a broken volleyball net without court lines outside! The girls still seem to enjoy themselves though, am trying to teach them the serve and some of them can now hit the shuttle over the net!
We are also continuing the art club from last year, which by mistake was solely me running it last week. (only some of you will appreciate the improbability of my being able to run an art club!) It was not my funnest hour in Sri Lanka. Surrounded by giggling 13 and 14 year old girls and boys who kept on saying my name talking in Sinhala and laughing. So passing over my worst nightmare, we also tutor a girl called Deshika who has been extremely welcoming, she gives us half an hour of Sinhala lessons in return for English tuition. We also tutor two lovely girls called Isurani and Calpa who are our age and are becoming good friends.
On Friday we went to see the school we will be teaching at in Maharapenna. It is amazing, 10 minutes by bus and a 10 minutes walk. It's opposite a temple, really small and in quite a poor area, some of the kids were not wearing shoes. The nicest thing about the school was that the kids were fab, so smiley and welcoming and we actually saw a decent Sri Lankan English teacher, who re-arranged her lessons so we could see her teach.
On Sunday Agnes took us to Jungle beach, a secluded local beach which was amazing, and then we visited a fabulous peace pagoda run by a Japanese monk. In the evening we went to Jo and Alan's for some TOAD IN THE HOLE! Possibly the best thing I've eaten since arrival and we had lovely evening listening to the boys play their guitars and Jo and Alan sing some fabulous songs.
On Sunday I decided to hop on one of Jo and Alan's bikes and see where the road would take me. it was really enjoyable zooming around and seeing more of the local area. It's amazing how everything looks exactly the same
This week we've started our own lessons, I'll write about them in my next blog. So to leave you all on a cliff hanger, read my next blog for news of our first day teaching, riotous classes, a big girl party, the headmaster waging war against us, a Korean film crew and much more!
Missing you all,
Lots of love,