November was such a good month in lots of ways. Oh, there are the usual gripes about schedule changes, cold building, students absent when they should be at school, etc., but overall, looking back over the month, it was a good one. Here are some highlights, beginning with the fact that my grant proposal for new English books for our college’s English students was funded. No, it was not millions of dollars, not even thousands, not even $1000, but for a college without books to study English, it was BIG. My counterpart/team teacher and I will purchase the books in January when David and I return to Armenia from our Christmas trip……just in time for our second semester.
|New classroom for English classes|
In addition, my college director recently designated a different classroom as the English classroom ---one on the warm side of the building ---a significant factor when the building is often colder inside than out! We have new desks and chairs, a blackboard, nice book cases and new linoleum and paint to clean up the old space. We are told we’ll be able to share the use of a projector/screen and maybe a computer from the adjacent computer room. This is so much better than when I came. The students have helped us teachers to hang our English posters and other things so that the room looks more like a classroom in the U. S. than in Armenia. Students come to this classroom now for classes instead of the English teachers going to the student’s homeroom. So much better--------now we do not have to drag all of our stuff from room to room and if we want to suddenly talk about a subject, our teaching materials will be right there handy.
|Armenian English teachers at our workshop|
Also in November a group of 4 other Peace Corps volunteers and I held an English teacher’s workshop at the British Council office in Yerevan. In attendance were teachers from in and around Yerevan. Our focus was on reading and creative writing in one session. The second was on making inexpensive games and visual aids to enhance learning . This is an idea not used much in Armenian schools so learning to use Bingo, Jeopardy, the Memory game, and the Hokey Pokey were new to many teachers. We hope to do a follow-up workshop or 2 in 2013 since the response was good to this first one.
|Staff at Bridge of Hope in Dilijan, Armenia during Thanksgiving Day lesson by Kellianne Lauer and me|