T is for Teacher
Tea is for Teacher
I began my teaching internship at Navunisea District School. After a few weeks of settling in and developing an overwhelming love for the project, village and school I began to think about how I could use my internship project to make a sustainable contribution to the project. As the teachers here have a demanding role without allocated non teaching time, I found it difficult to find opportunities to build a strong working relationship with my classroom teacher. Offering consistent themes and teaching when delivering tuitions alongside classroom teachings is invaluable to a child’s progress.
To be able to do this I thought volunteers and teachers needed more chances to communicate professionally and socially.
After speaking to past volunteers, project staff and teachers I introduced a weekly social tea to give everybody at the school a chance to mingle, as well as eat cake and drink tea! Once a week we give some business to the ladies in the village who bake various delicious Fijian cakes, ranging from cassava pie to donuts with moli syrup.
All of the teachers are very appreciative and happy to get to know the volunteers better, several have commented that they feel more in the loop about volunteers coming and going from the project. Aside from the constant taunts regarding my presentation of the assorted baked goods (there is a delicate science to hosting a Fijian tea I am yet to master) the social teas have been a success and such an enjoyable part of the school week. The next stage is to introduce a structured way for volunteers and teachers to develop their relationship professionally, this will be done through the introduction of short 15 minute weekly meetings between a volunteer and their classroom teacher.
Before living in Silana village I never appreciated the full power of tea and cake but I can already see improvements between how the school and GVI volunteers work together one month after starting the social teas. Being able to look at how we work with our partners and introduce a way to improve this has been a really enjoyable and rewarding experience.
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