The 11th of July presented us with our first proper day of teaching at Sekolah Kebangsaan Temuno Teringai Darat. The day kicked off with an opening ceremony with a speech from the headmaster and team leaders Lena and Qi, followed by a delicious Hari Raya buffet. All the volunteers wore traditional clothing to celebrate the occasion. After we ate, we were introduced to the groups of children we would be teaching over the next two weeks. It was exciting to finally meet the kids. Most of us were assigned to two or three kids each.
Our first afternoon session consisted of the volunteers assessing our kids’ levels of English and Math. We also filled out the student survey form to see what they were expecting from our time with them and how they were feeling about their UPSR exams. The form was useful to compare their initial feedback to their feedback on the last day. On the first day, my students generally seemed quite nervous for their exams and said that they did not understand some of the explanations given their teachers in school. However, the kids said that they were excited for the two-week programme and hoped to improve their grades over the course of our time together.
After the first afternoon session we continued the painting of the mural that we had begun on the first day. The background was a light pink colour, which would complement the black tree and kids’ colourful handprints to follow. During the afternoon we also played sports with the kids. They enjoyed playing netball and football during their free time.
7.30pm to 9.30pm marked our first evening classes with the children. After assessing their English and Math levels during the day, it was time to start teaching lessons. I gave them some UPSR questions followed by some educational math games like ‘Fraction Action Snap’ and UNO. This was a good way to unwind at the end of two hours of studying and the kids seemed to really enjoy the competitive nature of the games.
At the end of the evening activities, the volunteers from the two classes came together for supper and a reflection on the days teaching. The volunteers in 6A reported that some kids had a strong basic level of Math and English while others in the class seemed to be struggling with the most basic activities. There seemed to be a range of abilities within the top class itself. We also moved around some students so that each group would be most suited to match the levels of the other students in that teaching group too. The volunteers in 6A also suggested we do more energisers to keep the children interested at the start of the class. 6B reported that the level was very slow, but that it was expected. Only some of the students from 6B could speak English and their math levels were quite poor. However, the kids seemed to really like the singing and more fun elements of the class, while 6A was more serious exam questions.
Overall, the first day of teaching was a good way in which we could assess and get to know our students better in order to prepare for the upcoming two weeks.