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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

Volunteers' Stories

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Jessica Clenshaw on her voluntary teaching project in South Africa with Travellers          

JESSICA CLENSHAW
British

Teaching Disadvantaged Children on a voluntary placement in Knysna, South Africa
         

I have gained so much confidence with the teaching that I wouldn't think twice now about getting up in front of a class and just teaching whereas before I wouldn't know where to begin.

There is also obviously lots of other things, like I've gained confidence with travelling and met lots of different kinds of people and learned a little about their culture.

The teaching experience as a whole was great, even when the kids were naughty it was always a good learning experience. When I could see the progress that I'd made, though, it obviously felt good. Like when I took some kids on the computer and just taught them simple things like how to write capital letters.

What completed the whole experience and made it equally unforgettable was the trips that we did, particularly the trips that Jim [Travellers SA Assistant Manager] organised. We had such a good time.

Can you describe a typical day?

Jim would drop us off at school at about 7.35 and we would wait until 8.00am until the bell rang and we would then go to the classroom. Normally the teacher I was working with would introduce the lesson and then I would help with what she was doing.

Twice a week I took out a class for netball when my teacher had a free period. There were two lessons and then a reading period before first break.

The lessons were generally about 45 minutes but this often changed from day to day so we never really knew! There were then two more lessons before second break and then another two afterwards.

During break times we tended to sit in the staff room where there was always a lovely cup of tea waiting for us! and we were able to eat the food we had brought with us. Sometimes some of the children, particularly the older ones, would come in and chat to us.

I had such a wonderful time. I look through my photos so often and often wish I was back there!  

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