Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nathalie's experience of teaching on a paradise island

Jambo from Kenya! Rising with the sun to a breakfast of pancakes is the best way to start the day on Wasini Island. With the soft sounds of the ocean and the faint beat of island music in the distance, we set to work on planning the week’s lessons. All the volunteers and staff are so enthusiastic and any worries you may have about teaching just seem to fade away.

Volunteers lead a typical open library session at Mkwiro Primary
The children of Mkwiro Primary School are always so motivated to learn about new things, always asking questions (sometimes even asking for homework!) and wanting to know more about the subjects they study.

During English lessons the children learn about poetry and stories. Sometimes the children will write compositions, their thoughts and ideas are all so individual and creative. As well as stories and children’s literature, we also teach the more practical side of English language, with work on phonetics and grammar which will benefit them in the world of work when they’re grown up.

Sunset from Mkwiro base
In the afternoons we have an open library session, where the children have the freedom to practice their reading. Open library is always so much fun, there is always an air of enthusiasm in the library and the children love finding new ways to bring the stories and its characters off the page. Just last week, one child actually sang an entire book to me! This turned the theme of library to poetry, the thing about teaching here is that you can plan but, you can never predict the day’s events, no day here is ever the same. Sometimes we take reading outdoors and while seated on the roots of the old baobob tree, we read stories.

We also teach adult classes in English and Maths. We tailor the lessons to suit their needs by teaching topics which will be useful for them to know in real life. This gives local people the skills to be able to plan and organise a business which helps them create a sustainable future for themselves and their families, working on the principle that if you teach someone to fish you can feed them for life. 

Nathalie Brand - Community Project Volunteer