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Volunteers' Stories




Teaching English to Children Project in Madurai, India


The placement is going well. The school is better off than others, but does have very basic resources. The children are very friendly and excited. I feel like a movie star! The older children are keen to learn about London which they have heard off. They are not familiar with Britain.

As a teacher I have found the lack of resources and whole class teaching quite challenging, but I am learning to improvise e.g using a piece of chalk as a microphone and moving furniture back so we can sit in a circle. The teachers have been welcoming and are also interested in the UK and how things are done there. They are also interested in my background as my family are from Gujerat, India. Whenever I am asked where I am from, I answer London. The reply usually is 'but you look Indian'.

I do wish I could stay longer as some of the younger children have just started to feel comfortable with me and one of the older classes are so interested in finding things out about me and my life in the UK. I have talked about teaching methods at home and tried to think of how they can be applied here given the lack of resources. I'm not sure if they truly get it though.

I am leaving most of my resources that I brought and have stuck a couple of alphabet and number posters on the wall, much to the children's delight. The teachers are worried that the children will tear it and want to put it away or place it high on the wall, out of reach. I insisted on leaving it there explaining that it needs to be at their eye level. I have also displayed some of the children in school notice board and some in the classrooms. Lots of excitement there!

So as you can see. I am not ready to leave! I am sure I will keep in touch with the school as several teachers have already exchanged addresses and e-mail adresses with me and Standard 4 class wanted my address too, so I gave my school in London and they all copied it into their books!  

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