Thursday, February 2, 2012

Progress Update

The projects in Luang Prabang are very dynamic and we take our feedback seriously.  We’re always looking at ways to improve or what can be added to the project to boost the amazing experiences our volunteers can enjoy.  Here’s a re-cap of some of what’s going on lately in LPB:
Kids enjoying play-based learning

  • This week will see us commence teaching once a week at an adorable village school outside Luang Prabang called Kok Nguu.  These kids range from pre-school age, giving us the chance to do play-based learning, through the 5 primary years.  We’re honoured to be invited into this government school for the first time and provide the English education they wouldn’t otherwise receive!
  • The new volunteers starting this week are the first to have received our new Welcome Pack emailed to them prior to arrival.  This booklet is packed full of info and gives volunteers a chance to learn all about the project, our schools and students, protocols working with Novices, a rough idea of the schedule etc BEFORE they touch down in Laos.  Armed and ready with info will go a long way to smoothing the first week. 
Lao teacher Xay teaches volunteers some basics
  • The social side and extra activities is always fluid but GVI volunteers continue to enjoy optional Lao language lessons weekly with a local teacher to get more out of their time and help them understand where their students are coming from.  And talk about humbling!  To be on the other side of the desk as a student yourself is a great way to have some compassion for your learners. 
  • A dinner was arranged on both Saturday and Sunday night to help the new volunteers settle in with the continuing ones and also try some local cuisine with a recommendation from field staff.  Yum! 
Volunteers having some powerpoint training on Lesson Planning
  • Finally, the training GVI staff provide to volunteers in their first week continues to evolve and improve and now volunteer teachers receive 5 hours of comprehensive training in addition to one or two Observation/Demonstration Lessons with reflection sessions from an experiences teacher. 

So all in all, it’s onwards and upwards for GVI Laos.  Always changing, often challenging and striving to be a life-changing experience for everyone – students, Lao teachers and of course our valuable volunteers – we love what we do!