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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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The Rewarding Challenges Ahead

By 6 years ago
Categories Cape Town

I have been at ACJ Primary School for 4 weeks of a 10 weeks stay and even though it is commonly said, it has so far been the most eye opening experience of my life!
When I arrived I was bombarded with hundreds of smiling, welcoming faces all of who were eager to learn. I quickly adjusted to the unfamiliar Xhosa names and constant changing of classrooms and I have especially bonded with my 4 one-on-ones. At the beginning of the term they sat a national literacy test with the majority of them scoring 15% or below. So now I have the challenge of helping them graduate into Grade 7 next year (a daunting task!)
So far we have been working on tenses where after 2 weeks I saw a dramatic increase in their test scores. At the moment we are reading ‘Harry the Dirty Dog’ (I know now it word for word) for a comprehension topic and creating lots of colourful displays for the classroom. It especially helps that one of my pupils, Simamkele, is an avid illustrator. By the end of next week I expect Siyabonga to have taken all of my stickers, to have lost countless times against Ongeziwe at Monster Snap, and for Okuhle to yet again forget her teacher’s name! On a final note … I can’t wait to encounter all the frustrating yet rewarding challenges ahead.
Sarah Halliwell, Teaching Volunteer