Are any of these activities part of your teaching day?

Day 14 SOL19


These are some ways in which my teaching day here may differ from yours….?

Do you ever….

Clip dirty fingernails…

Deworm students (twice a year)….

Administer ear drops into ears that may have pus running from them….

Remind a mum that a sore ear needs to be treated…

Sit in a classroom where everyone sniffs (some days nonstop)….

Go to buy your daily break time protein snacks like peanuts or biscuits for the students, then traipse around town and find them to be out of stock at one, two, three…yes, every shop…

Try to find lead pencils that won’t break (give up and bring them from Australia), notebooks that stay together (Classmate is the only brand, watch out for fake Classmate that changes one letter of its name) and decent textbooks that don’t fall apart during the school year and are written in reasonable English…

Locate stools and plastic tables for students, after getting rough wooden tables made up that always have one leg shorter than the other three…

Teach your local teachers how to pronounce certain English words (after hearing them mispronounce those words to their students) and try not to offend them when they’ve obviously been wrongly taught by their own teachers….

Show kids how to turn the page of a book without ripping it….

Ask parents to make sure their child studies or reads for some time at home and then be told you have permission to beat him/her…

Advise parents that boiling all drinking water means bubbles on top for at least 5 minutes…

Teach kids to wash their hands after going to the toilet and before eating and even before writing in their notebooks in the morning, or the pages tend to get very grubby…

Teach new students how to use an eastern style toilet (many just go outside or in the bushes at home)…  And no, that piece of grass is a lawn, not a toilet…

Try to describe what the sea looks like, what a plane looks like and what a train looks like and what snow is….and then wonder how they can ever write descriptively about stuff they’ll never see…. especially when they live in a dirty, drab little town that throws its rubbish in the local river….

Try to describe what it is to have a hobby or fun thing to write about, when there are no play centres or decent playgrounds, when they wash their own uniform by hand, carry baby brothers and sisters around on their backs, do countless chores like sweeping and often cook (over charcoal) at home…





18 thoughts on “Are any of these activities part of your teaching day?

  1. This is an incredible piece of writing. The details you have chosen so clearly describe your teaching situation and you as a teacher. And the photographs of your children are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you focus on tasks that have become daily to you and bring to life the culture and the very different worlds we each live in. When I visited a school outside of Ching Mai, Thailand, I was surprised, but pleased to find toothbrushes and little cups all hanging in a row. This allowed students to brush their teeth twice a day with clean water, something that would almost never happen in their home. Keep your slices coming – they are excellent to share with my growing boys about India and connect some of these challenges with our current priest, who is from India.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What a list – it makes your work come alive in so many ways. How long have you been teaching there? How long will you stay? It sounds challenging, but I bet it’s really amazing, too. I’d love to hear more about some of the kids and some of your observations. So cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s the lack of learning with understanding here that is the problem, because you are not learning in your own language but in English, taught by non-English speakers who don’t fully understand themselves (if they’re teaching in poor or rural areas) so no chance to appreciate or enjoy learning, just do it by heart.


    1. Oh definitely many joys, seeing kids learn with understanding is one of them, almost no student does that hear, they just learn by heart…! So they cannot offer an opinion, or a thought on what they learn, because they just don’t know, nor are they meant to…


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