Sunday, 17 June 2007

The Job

Well, this is the real reason why we are here. We have both been very busy with lots of varied work. Last week we moved office – just across the corridor. They needed our room for a Head of Department and the one we moved into was much bigger overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There are 6 of us in the office - Mary and I and Meg who came with us, Nicholas a young Guyanese man who is working on Physical Education and Jess and Ann from Texas and Chester respectively who are VSOs working on a Literacy Project. They will be leaving in July and the office will be very big for 4 of us. There are no plans yet for any other VSOs to come to NCERD.

I have been working in a number of schools with all of the challenges that that entails. I can’t go into detail here but it keeps me well occupied and allows me to experience what is going on at the chalk face – literally chalk here, not even dustproof and whiteboards and interactive whiteboards and unimaginable dream. Alongside this the Education management Programme is keeping me occupied. I have started NCERD’s first website – slow going because of the speed of the internet but you will be able to see it develop –

Mary has been working on three projects. The first is the evaluation of another project with which she wasn’t involved which entails travelling to all the regions and asking questions about the success of a set of materials. The second is an Educare Project, a charity run by an ex VSO which has been setting up after school clubs linked to a feeding programme. Mary and Meg will be training the teachers in all of the regions – a lot of travelling. The third is a series of 3 day workshops about a whole school approach to teaching reading through phonics. That starts in the end of July so she has time to prepare.

I have been travelling the regions meeting groups of teacher trainees on the Education management programme and giving my take on leadership (a concept that has not really taken off here – they are more into administration). They will understand it though by the time I leave!!!

All in all it is very satisfying and varied work. It may take a while for it to filter through to the children (the only thing that is important) but, sure enough, it will do and those will be the outcomes VSO requires to justify our stay here.