Today was my first day of teaching. I arrived at First Friends Preschool around 8:30 am. I saw parents bringing their children to school and then walking them to the front gate. At that point, a teacher would greet the parents and open the gate for the children. The environment at the Preschool was similar to schools in the United States. There was playground equipment, colorful drawings on the wall, children crying because they did not want to go to school and parents mingling after dropping their children off. Most of the children wore their school’s uniform. I was first introduced to the principal of First Friends Preschool; she informed me that the school has seven teachers and fifty-two students. All of the teachers were women who also wore uniforms. The children began their mornings at First Friends Preschool with a worship session. At this worship session, children are free to practice their own religion. Afterwards, the children sang songs and did morning stretching.. Today the children sung “I’m a little tea cup” and the Barney song, “I love you.” The children are then dismissed to their classes. They are classified as play school, kindergarten and upper-kindergarten. For the next three weeks, I will be working with upper-kindergarten children.
Today I mainly observed the teachers and assisted students whenever they needed help. I was very impressed with the school itself. The teachers and parents seem to work well with together to ensure excellence for their children. All of the teachers are highly qualified and I am learning a lot from them as well.
Week 2 - Day 3
I am quickly grasping my new role at First Friends Preschool. I usually lead the children in their morning stretching exercises and teach fine arts, in addition to helping children in the classroom. The entire program curriculum is taught in English. Throughout the week they have learned numbers, letters, addition and reading. I help the children with their handwriting and pronunciation of English words.
In the afternoons, I continue my volunteering experience at a boys’ orphanage in Matale, Sri Lanka. Below is some background about the school.
In the year of 1952 the Franciscan Missionary Brothers with the motive of uplifting poor children decided to put up a small hurt with 15 boys and it was named St. Francis Boys’ Home, Matale. This home brought much relief to the thousands who lived here. Today this Boys’ home caters to 80 boys, age 5 to 18 years. Among them some are sent by the Department of probation & Child Care Services and also Juvenile Court for reformation and rest from broken families. Our concept is rehabilitating them through the school system and teaching them a vocational skill in keeping their aptitude and ultimately relating this to employment opportunities.
Our boys’ home provides them with the basic needs in this regard. They are also taught good manners. They are provided with recreational facilities. They are also encouraged to do home gardening and animal husbandry. Since they come from broken families we pay more attention to their morale and spiritual development.
The children who are admitted to our home will leave the same as able-bodied youngsters who will face any problem in their lives boldly with courage and strength. It should be appreciated that the service of this boys’ home, which are based on Christian principles, will nurture these children physically, mentally, and educationally. So that they will lead prosperous and joyful lives in the future. There is no doubt what so ever that the blessing of the Almighty God will come upon the brothers and others for their selfless and dedicated services rendered to this home in order to bring prosperity and happiness to the destitute children. Brothers also extending their services towards people, Tea estate sectors to develop their morale and spiritual life.