As a teacher, I plan and carry out lessons for children from the age of 5 to 15, teaching all levels of ability. We teach the very basics to the smallest children, in 1st and 2nd grades, and teach full sentences and basic conversational skills to the older children. They really love English as it is a break from normal school, and we try to make the lessons as interactive as possible!
We also must maintain contact with the teachers to make sure that they are happy with the curriculum, and the progress of the children. Most of the teachers really support us, and even join in with the lessons, which the children love!
We had to quickly learn the likes and dislikes of the children that we teach across the two schools. This meant that our planning and teaching is largely based around what the children respond to best and we then explore different ways of engaging some of the more challenging children through games, songs and worksheets.
One of my personal highlights has been really getting to know the children and the teachers, this I have enjoyed a great deal. I have also enjoyed introducing the children to a newer, more fun way to learn. It has been so rewarding to see the children engage with the lessons so well.
One of the biggest challenges is that before coming to Peru with OCN I had never planned or taught a lesson before, but with the help of the other teachers and the head of HELP English, this was made easier as they have all the materials and ideas needed for a successful class.
Learning Spanish has been the biggest help for my future, at first I was nervous to talk but after making friends with the family where I live, and developing new friendships I am much more confident. The children at school are so genuinely lovely and helpful with phrases and teaching us when we teach them.
Having to interact with so many people, some in a different language, from a different culture has been really eye opening. I have learnt so much from the teachers and the children alike including different ways to teach, and personal skills as well.
One of my favourite moments of this year was returning after the Christmas holidays to a huge welcome back from both the children and the teachers, and the children all remembered so much more English than I thought! They all came back to school ready to learn and we have had a great start to the year!
By Faye Connolly.
For more information on the specific positions available and how you can get involved please visit our HELP English page at http://otracosa.org/projects/help-english/.