Experience of Teaching in Sri Lanka

By: Projects Abroad

We came to Sri Lanka just after finishing our final school exams in Ireland. We wanted to do something different (as opposed to just sunning ourselves in Spain) and that is exactly what we found.

Our first day in Kanishta Vidyalaya School in Mawala is unforgettable! Having just had 14 years as students at home, being referred to as "Teacher miss" took some time to get used to. We started our days at 8 in morning and finished at 1.30pm with a 20 minute break in the middle. We taught from Grades 1 up to Grade 11 (which was strange as most of the students were the same age as us!).

The older students liked to speak and write a lot with the occasional highly competitive game of Hangman. The younger students used us as human climbing frames as they sang (or screamed) songs to us. Needless to say, everyday left us exhausted. Within our first week we were bombarded with little notes from the girls saying "my friends are Ali and Katie". Three students even knelt down to our feet to say thank you after a lesson!!!

When they began their exams in Mawala we moved to Welapitiya Montessori in Panadura to decorate the walls. The three teachers there were so friendly and it became their mission to feed us as much as possible. One day we actually ate a whole loaf of bread and a bunch of bananas each...I kid you not! We decorated the outside walls (no pressure on us at all!) and Katie grew rather attached to her penguin "Pengui"!

For our final week we taught English in the Panadura Buddhist temple. There were six boys between the age of 12 and 14. Of course there was the exception of the head monks always joining our class, who giggled in the corner and was disappointed if he didn't get the gold star too! Their English was amazing and they were so eager to learn. We couldn't believe it as we tried to play a game and they preferred to write and read. They were the sweetest and friendliest people we have ever met and leaving them is difficult.

We came here thinking a month would seem very long but now we would love another two months

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