I’ve now officially started teaching and have met my colleagues and students.  I’m working in a fairly small school (200 students grades 1-12) with two local English teachers teaching grades 1-6.  My school is the poorest in our town, and many of the students can’t afford to buy their textbooks, but the other students always share with them.  All the students are so excited to learn English that they are literally jumping out of their chairs to answer my questions.  Motivating the students doesn’t seem to be a problem at all, but keeping order in class might be.

Our school has two English classrooms, one very big and the other quite small.  The more senior English teacher has been working with other native-speaker volunteers for years, and with them has received multiple grants to create a more comfortable classroom environment for our students. She has a little English library in the back, lots of decorations on the walls, and fairly good teaching technology.  The other English teacher is fairly new to the school, and hasn’t yet had the time to nest in her classroom as much.  Her room is also much larger.  Though the classrooms are far from barren, they are freezing.  The school is primarily heated by wood ovens, which are great when you’re standing right next to them, but due to the lack of insulation the heat doesn’t reach very far.  It’s normal for teachers and students alike to be wearing their winter coats, hats, and gloves in the classroom.

Though my school is poor, it seems to be a really great learning environment.  The teachers care very much about their students, and want to do as much as they can for them.