Mamueshut Lemma from Ethiopia
I first came into contact with Muday at a Baha’i gathering, our shared faith. She invited me to come visit the school, and I immediately fell in love with the project and its people. I have taught English for over ten years and decided to volunteer here in all grades in order to share my expertise and experience with the teachers here at the school and the students who deserve a great education.
While I love reading stories in Amharac to the younger children, I also love teaching spoken English to all ages. My teaching style is not very traditional, though, and is unlike any of the teachers here at the school. I prefer not simply teaching from a book. Rather, I like to get the students involved, motivating them to contribute and inspiring them to learn. There are no passive students in my classroom. I enjoy playing grammar games with the students and having interactive conversations with them. Sometimes I even take them out of the classroom and teach them a little more about public speaking in a very informal setting. I give them a title or a topic based on their respective levels and let them do a little bit of improvisation in order to improve their creative thinking and English speaking.
I also do a good bit of observation of classes and consultation with teachers and students. How the teachers carry themselves and react to students acting out is very important to a school environment. With my experience, I am able to help counsel the teachers when they react wrongly to a student’s mistakes. I teach them to be kind and compassionate while still setting good expectations without mentally or physically harming the students. The goal is to get the students involved in classroom activities and not give them the opportunity to act in a poor manner. Many times I will observe something and consult with the teacher privately. I do not want to come off as a boss, but I do like to provide good advice as to how teachers can improve. They even send students to me who have acted out so that I can motivate them to be better in class and actively participate. I also help teach a moral class to the students to teach them how to interact with people and excel in their power of expression and confidence.
I love volunteering here because I don’t have a true boss looking over my shoulder. I come here to enjoy myself because my work here doesn’t feel like work. Fresh and Green gives me great pleasure, and I will always help in any way that I can. It’s amazing how many activities they have here for the children to be involved in. The students crave the opportunities provided here, and I will continue to help the school succeed in everything that it does.