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Volunteers' Stories




Teaching Children in Schools on a voluntary program in Malaysia


I feel I have gained in confidence in that I am more assertive and am more willing to trust myself to do new things. I have learnt what it is like to live the warmness of the Malaysian culture while still being (and feeling at times) very different in my appearance!

I have increased my knowledge of the English language and felt both the rewards and frustrations of teaching both young children and adults.

The best thing has to be the integration you experience into a small and friendly community, that is both the school and the church. Your own views are respected but singing hymns at 6pm every evening with the dormitory girls is so much fun that it is not to be missed! Also the satisfaction I felt when I could see an improvement in the English (both written and spoken) of a few of the teachers due to concepts I had taught.

Would you recommend it?

Yes of course! There is much scope in who and what you teach and the school buildings and grounds are beautiful - you won't forget it.

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

Anyone up for a challenge who loves children wants to meet new and different people and if you want a tan (it is possible at the weekends). It is especially good for someone interested in teaching as a career - gives you the extra edge and confidence from an amazing experience.

Can you describe a typical day?

I started at 7.20am but was usually there about 10 minutes before for singing hymns with the teachers. I had 2 or 3 lessons in the mornings all an hour each. 7.20-8.20 was year 5 Parrot (a less able class) on a Monday, then a half hour break in which I did marking.

8.50-9.50 year 3 cheetah English reading and then half an hour marking in staff room during break (eating banana and curry puffs).

10.20-11.20 year 6 grammar and comprehension (best class!)

At 11.20 I went back to the house and chatted to Monica and helped her cook lunch and rested until 1pm when everyone was back and we ate. 2-3pm I planned my teacher's grammar and reading/writing lesson. I taught the primary school teachers from 3-4.30pm everyday - about 3-6 turned up - really enjoyed these lessons, much interaction and laughed a lot.

5-5.20 pm - ran around the school field with the football team to train for the mountain. Sung hymns at 6pm with the 6th term boarders. Played volleyball or basketball or watched TV until 7pm when we cooked dinner. After dinner I wrote my diary and planned the lessons for the next day and went to bed about 10.30-11pm exhausted.

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