If you’re going to teach English in another country, you can do without a lot of things. Electricity for example, or textbooks, or chairs. One thing that is indispensable though, is flexibility.
This morning I started teaching English to children in a Karen village in an education program for kids sponsored by Compassion, International. The Compassion program is run by one of our local churches. I wasn’t expecting much in terms of facilities, and wasn’t sure how many kids would be there, so I made my lesson plan with a lot of options built in.
It’s a good thing I did, because when I got there, there were over 40 kids stuffed into a small one-room bamboo structure built in the traditional style with a leaf roof, bamboo walls, and a floor also made of split bamboo. Whenever I dropped anything on the floor, it invariably fell through the gaps in the slats and onto the ground whereupon the program director kindly fetched it for me. Embarrassing.
I had to scrap one of the songs I was going to use since the floor probably would not have been able to survive 40 + kids jumping up and down. Next week I can modify the song and we can sing 1,2,3,4,5–Clap! instead of 1,2,3,4,5–Jump!
Aren’t you just a little bit jealous that I get to do this?