Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rachel and Simon Tyrrell

Rachel & Simon Tyrell are two young(ish) professionals who put their careers on hold, rented their house and left Australia in June 2006 for a six month working holiday in UK & Europe, followed by 12 months teaching at the School of St Jude in Tanzania, East Africa.

Class 1C with Miss Rachel

Rachel is teaching Standard 1 and Simon takes care of the accounts, admin and anything else that comes to hand!

Rachel makes the following comments about her class at St Judes.
I think there is a careful balance here of respecting the existing culture and making changes for the better.

It took me almost all week to explain to the kids that they do not need to empty their desk and take every single book home each night. In the end I got a local teacher to explain to them (we are not really meant to do this, as the kids’ English improves a lot more quickly in the classes where only English is spoken i.e. with the western teachers).

Apparently the kids are used to not owning much and so they guard it with their life when they do. The following day there were all these excited gasps when the kids ran into the classroom and lifted their desks to find that all the contents were still there!

The kids are very enthusiastic and really want to be at school. They are very well behaved and particularly love more creative classes - which Gemma is really trying to encourage versus the traditional chalk and talk method. So, while the language barrier is of course a problem, the day is very rewarding and does not feel draining because the kids are an absolute pleasure to have.

Rachel and Simon have an online journal that you might like to check out.

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