This week in Koh Samui we were joined by our lovely teaching volunteers Rebecca, Sarrah, Kelly and Ciara who were kindly spending some time helping out at one of the local schools in the area. Throughout this week teaching at the nursery we have begun each lesson by singing popular English children’s nursery rhymes, such as ‘Wheels on the bus’, ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’, ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ etc. for the first 10 minutes. Then we would spend between 10-15 minutes going over the alphabet, counting numbers from 1-10, the days in the week and months with them.
We then proceeded to teach the pupils colours, asking each student to come up in front of the class and, for example, point to a colour which was then spoken in English. Once they were able to correctly identify the colour we would ask them to repeat it in English. And to encourage further learning, we split the class into two separate teams, which would get a point if they could correctly point at the colour and then say it in English first.
From Sunday to Tuesday, Koh Samui experienced some strong thunder storms and heavy rain. Therefore, we chose to incorporate the weather as one of our topics. We taught the pupils how to equip themselves during the rain. This included the correct clothing such as a raincoat, boots, an umbrella and a song to prevent any further rainfall! ‘Rain, rain go away, come back again some other day’. We like to think that our committed singing has had something to do with bringing back the sunshine in Koh Samui these past couple of days.
For the remaining twenty minutes of the lesson students were allowed to colour in. Whilst the volunteers went around the classroom asking each pupil what colours they were using and helping students to identify the colour in English if they struggled to answer.
On Tuesday night, the volunteers enjoyed doing the weekly pub quiz at a local bar with Siam, Thum, Khru Ang and myself.
Then on Friday we hosted a BBQ at the volunteer house; inviting all the nursery teachers, Thum our taxi driver, James our company car driver, our cleaners and some other neighbours in the area. It was a great evening, where we were all able to enjoy one another’s company and have a good laugh. The girls really surprised me, Zaza, Siam and Thum by buying us all gifts and thanking us for all of our help.
Unfortunately whilst we had to say our farewells to Kelly, Sarrah and Ciara who left early on Saturday morning, we were excited to meet our new volunteers, who were arriving today.
Our new volunteer arrivals Cheryl, Rebecca and Rachel came to Koh Samui later that day and we would have the pleasure of spending time with them over the next two weeks. All have just recently qualified as TEFL teachers and are really looking forward to going to the school this Monday to begin putting what they have learnt in to practice. They all have a tremendous amount of energy and a good sense of humour, so the Starfish Samui team are really looking forward to working with them.
By Alex in Koh Samui