I arrived in Cofradia with zero teaching experience and really had no idea how I’d get on. I was anxious and excited to get stuck in. Circumstances outside of anyone’s control meant the Volunteer Coordinator wasn’t able to go through the usual teacher training with me in a structured way, and consequently I was thrown in the deep end on day one with three classes!
Predictably, I found my first classes particularly challenging. I was learning so much – the range of ability in my class, which lesson formats worked, how much time exercises would take, how best to lesson plan, not to mention the admin and disciplinary aspects – and I’d find I was knackered by the evening! But this is exactly how it should be. I came here hoping to put myself out of my comfort zone and challenge myself.
Since then every class has been better than the last. You build relationships with the kids, you learn which of them need more help and you try to tailor your teaching so that everyone gets something out of it – and if you persevere in what can sometimes be a chaotic environment you will occasionally feel you’ve genuinely imparted knowledge!
I’m so glad I did this, and I feel confident that the benefit to the kids from my classes will definitely have outweighed any potential difficulties resulting from a shorter-than-ideal spell as their teacher.