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Volunteers' Stories





Teaching Children in Schools and Refugee Centres in Perth, Australia

1) What experience do you feel you are gaining?

I feel that I am learning how better to interact with children, being more patient, and adapting my explanations until they understand what I'm trying to say. It's also a learning process for me to be able to simplify instructions adequately to promote comprehension, and speak in clear English. It's also very useful to watch different teachers with different classes and see how they handle any issues that arise.

2) What is the best thing about your placement so far?

All of the staff have been very friendly, welcoming me into their classes and allowing me to be very hands on with the children. The children themselves have all shown a willingness to learn, and seem to have taken to me, which is lovely and very rewarding.

3) Would you recommend this placement to anyone else?

I would certainly recommend this placement. I'm really enjoying it, and it will be an important addition to my CV.

4) What type of person do you think this placement would suit?

Anyone who is patient, open-minded and compassionate. And liking being around children is a must! Some of the children need a lot of support with their learning so flexibility and determinations are also very important. I also think that this placement would suit someone looking into going on to do languages or teaching.

5) Can you describe a typical day?

6:00 - wake up and get ready for the day: have breakfast, get my packed lunch sorted, put sun cream on... It's very quiet in the lodge at this time in the morning.

7:15 - leave the lodge and walk to Wellington bus station to catch the bus to school at 7:45

8:15 - arrive at school.

Class officially begins at around 9:00, and I'm at school until around 14:45 with twenty minutes of "recess" at 10:45 and half an hour for lunch at 13:05. Depending on which class I'm in today, I will spend the time helping with reading, spelling or maths, or preparing for a later activity for them, or working with any pupils who need extra support with English speaking.

15:15 - arrive back in Perth city. I'm usually quite tired after the day, and it's too hot to be out for long, so I spend the afternoons reading, exploring the city, emailing loved ones...

18:00 - meet with some other Travellers volunteers for dinner to talk about our day, and make plans for the weekend.

19:30 - go for a walk with the other girls down by the river or up into town. It's much nicer to be out at this time in the evening, as it's still warm enough for shorts, but much cooler than the daytime.

20:30 - a much needed shower, and I'm usually in bed by around 21:30 in anticipation of the next early start.

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