All Beginnings Are Difficult
I can’t believe how 8 weeks of teaching English here in Huanchaco could pass by so fast! Starting in my very first week was hard, I was teaching on my own (we didn’t have enough HELP English volunteers at that time, so please all come and join us!) and struggled a lot the first days with my only little Spanish skills and being a bit overwhelmed by teaching more than 200 kids with (as it appeared to me at the start) very difficult Peruvian names.
Teaching Becomes Fun!
However, after one week everything became easier to handle. I became familiar with the workbook we are currently using for the older kids (I was teaching the 9 to 12 year olds in grades 4, 5 and 6 in Maria del Socorro in the centre of Huanchaco), got to know the class atmospheres, introduced a smiley system to calm the kids down more easily, and became friends with the teachers and kids (by the way, always try to be friends with the cool kids, that will make teaching a looot easier!). My Spanish improved quickly and I was so happy when I realized I was able to explain grammar in Spanish with the kids actually getting it!
After a few weeks another volunteer from England, Cam, joined me in the project and then every day at school became even more fun! Calming down the kids with two teachers standing in front was a lot quicker and so we had more time for fun activities like playing Simon Says for learning vocabulary about doing activities or singing If you’re happy and you know it (even the class teacher seemed to enjoy it).
My Last Week
However, all good things come to an end, and my last week at school arrived far too soon. When I announced in class that I had only few days left I was overwhelmed by the kids all screaming “Nooo, no se vaya, no se vaya!”. I was so proud to see in my last week that their English skills really had improved over the time I was here and that even some of the kids that were difficult at the start now really seemed to enjoy the English lessons. On my last day the younger kids surprised me with lots of self-made cards, telling me I should not go back home to Germany or at least please come back to Peru soon (I really want to, that’s for sure!) and even the cool, older kids approached me to give me a Peruvian good-bye-kiss on the cheeks.
Teaching English definitely was one of the best parts of my stay here in Peru, helped me a lot to improve my Spanish and showed me that you actually can make a difference!!
-By Christine Friedel