A departing letter from Allie to her school

Brad HurvitzBrad Hurvitz

6/18/2016

Posted in: Allie's Journal, Teachers Journals

Shree Dhaulasri Secondary School

Chhomrong, Kaski 9 Ghandruk, Nepal

April 2016-June 2016

 

To the Principal, Students and community members of Chommrong,

 

Coming to teach at your school, I expected to be immersed in an education system far different

from my own. I expected it to be a challenging experience to teach with a language barrier, and l

expected to learn a lot both about how Nepali children are educated and how my own education

has influenced the person l am today.

Allie being playful

This is what l was expecting, and for the most part, this is what l observed. I observed that the

isolated nature of this school, and the low budget it receives, makes it very difficult for the

school to gain access to many materials, and staff. It seems that much of the staff is placed here,

and would often prefer to live somewhere either closer to their family, less isolated, or both. The

school relies on, what I assume is the most affordable option of government textbooks, however,

from my observations, these books are riddled with typos and grammatical errors. This not only

makes it difficult for the teachers to teach the material, but also makes it difficult for the students

both to understand the material presented, and gain a correct understanding of the English

language. Additionally, I’ve noticed that some of the textbooks are written at a level of English

which is difficult for some of the teachers to understand. When this is the case, when teachers are

not able to fully understand, or pronounce, the material they are assigned to teach, the teachers

have more difficulty teaching and the students have much more difficulty learning. This is no

fault of the teachers or the school. I know , for the most part, both are doing their best with the

knowledge and resources they have, however, l did notice that these factors and the difficulties

that arise from them may be a bit discouraging to both students and staff, affecting both the

school’s structure and morale. These issues, of course, are somewhat beyond the school’s level

of control, however, l believe they contribute to some of the difficulties this school has.

 

Despite these difficulties, I’ve noticed that the school encourages both structure and spirit.

Through morning training and trivia, the school sets the tone for a day of academic dedication. I

believe that this activity of both fosters structure, and reward for knowledge, encouraging the

students to learn. For the most part l would say that the students seem dedicated, though I did

notice that their focus is disrupted when there is a teacher absent. Without a teacher present,

students usually resort to outdoor activities, which, though beneficial in some ways, lack the

academic component a classroom environment provides. Hopefully with the increase in staff

since l began teaching here, there will be enough teachers to substitute for one another in case of

absence. That way, teachers will be able to leave lesson plans for another teacher to oversee, and

the students, after commuting so far to school, will still be given classroom instruction. I

believe that the increase in staff will greatly help the overall morale of the school and allow it to

continue working as strongly and smoothly it is able to.

 

Jumping playing laughing and learning

Jumping playing laughing and learning

 

In teaching here, I believe I’ve gained a much greater understanding of, and appreciation for the

difficulties of rural education systems. I see that there is not one issue that contributes to the

difficulties schools like Shree Dhaulasri Secondary School has, but rather, there are many

difficulties stemming from its isolation that make it a challenge to both teach and learn. Despite

this, l see a school of staff and students who are driven to better both themselves and the system

they are in. l see kindness and excitement in the eyes of both students and staff. I have great

hopes for this school and the improvements I see them making, the new foundations they are

building, and the future they are carving out ahead of them.

 

I thank you earnestly for allowing me to be a part of your community, and sincerely wish you all

the best.

 

Many thanks and Best Wishes,

Alexandria Cavallaro

Allie's farewell

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