Upon arriving at Dudley, we received a warm welcome full of smiling faces and loud cries of “Bula!” After a quick tour of the classrooms at Dudley College, I was thrown straight in to the deep end and asked, "So, are you ready to teach them English?" Armed with only a student textbook, I managed to rattle away English lessons for the next five hours, switching between oral and written work. What initially seemed a daunting task turned into a highly enjoyable experience. The children are very eager to learn and, awestruck by my pale skin, proved to be highly obedient and diligent pupils. Whenever I asked them a question, or wanted confirmation that they understood what I’d told them, the entire class what reply with an enthusiastic, “Yes, SIR!”
At the end of my first week of teaching, we had our first sports session. Having thought it would be a low-key rugby session, I was stunned to find the whole school sitting around me in anticipation. With the help of some of my Year 7s, we managed to hoist up a ragged net between two netball posts and thus a Volleyball court was created. Even after the first point, the school erupted with ear-spitting cheers and laughter and that was the tone for the rest of the games session. Despite being only two weeks in, the positive attitudes and enthusiasm of the children twinned with the laid back yet firm style of teaching makes my job great fun.
Despite not having access to all the same resources of western schools, Fijian students are attentive, eager to learn, and always excited at the prospect of playing rugby. I’m looking forward to the rest of my time teaching here in Suva and anticipating learning just as much about Fiji as my students will learn from me about English and sports.
By Sam Seacombe, Teaching Volunteer
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