The second Primary School turned out to be a lot more fun to work in. The students are more interested and friendly. You almost never need to worry about discipline there.
Almost all students made progress in spoken English. I was able to eliminate some common errors and build some useful vocabulary with them. I observed many students realizing the importance of English and getting very motivated!
The skills gained….
I learned how to keep children interested and motivated. I learned how to explain without using difficult vocabulary. My behaviour changed in some aspects because I felt like a role model for some students.
Keeping a good relationship with the people around you and getting to know them makes your day brighter and more interesting.
In my experience, the unexperienced host family was better than the two experienced families. They showed more interest and the exchange was more entertaining. Concerning the families, I think that a high number of previous short-term-volunteers is not an indicator for a good family because volunteers don’t change their family when they are only staying for some weeks.
I have learned that it is important to have your family members around you and no material goods can make up for them. Now I appreciate more that I can spend so much time with my family in Germany.
Comments about FSL India….
I enjoyed the orientation week very much and would recommend to not change too much about it.
I think the monthly visits were very productive and I give Gajendra an excellent rating for that. The QTE and MTE had some repetitive sessions which made them less interesting. The MTE was an improvement over the QTE in my opinion.
I saw a big increase in the support after the first incidents, but I can’t give a higher rating because I still think the handling of the first change was poor and it took too long to change the host family a second time.
Being observed constantly and always worrying about cultural norms that you might not know about.
In the project, I didn’t face any major challenges but there was some frustration. Sometimes it was hard to be the only teacher that is against corporal punishment
You get used to being watched. Concerning the cultural norms, you just have to be open about your mistakes and willing to apologize. No matter how careful you are, sometimes you will mess up. That’s not a bad thing. It is an opportunity to gain experience and have cultural exchange.
Will can beat frustration. Talking about corporal punishment can have some effect so it is always worth a shot.
I am very happy with my work in school and I am proud that my students feel the same
Final comments and suggestions…
Please keep taking our feedback seriously. We can all learn from our mistakes and I think that there are some very motivated and talented people at FSL.
Some of the nicest people I met in India work at FSL