Summer times are usually a period of rest and revitalisation with just the summer schools and getting tax returns ready for the New Year ( at the beginning of September – it will soon be 2006 ! ) However, this year is the complete opposite and everyone is now busy racing around to get the new schools ready !
When setting up a new school it is not the big things that are the problem – the obvious things like getting tables and chairs made, hiring new teachers and making the playground usable – instead it is the million and one little things- the light sockets falling off the wall, the windows that don’t close, getting pots for pencils etc that seem to be eating up the time !
There really are a million and one things that need to be purchased from the huge ( swings and slides , tables and chairs) to the tiny ( scissors and pencils ) and funds are now getting really tight !
Ideally, we need a bus to transport the children since our current bus is already used so we are currently at the stage of considering whether to sell our own private car and buy a school bus with that money – but this is difficult since it is always good to have a car in case of emergencies ( with two young children there are always emergencies ! ) – and of course, to get a bus would need additional funds – so we will wait and see !
Training will be one of the biggest challenges, since English Alive teaches in a way that is directly opposite to what teachers have been taught at college ! – instead of the rote learning and concept that the teacher is an all knowing power , we encourage pupils to explore and experiment, to know that the teacher is a human and someone to guide rather than dictate !
To get teachers up to speed, we propose only half days for the first week at the far school, giving teachers the opportunity to learn in situ through discussion and observation in the central schools thereby giving them at least a kick start !
To help things along we are shortly anticipating the arrival of Amy – our volunteer from the UK. She is a trained teacher so should be able to provide enormous help as we speed around from one school to another !
Although exhausting and expensive, the setting up of the new schools and getting ready for the start of the new school year is incredibly appreciated – with the real previous threat of the grade 1 – 4 closing down it really brought to the forefront of our minds how much we love the school and our way of life and has given us new enthusiasm knowing that we are doing what we feel is best !