Why teaching in Bali is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made
Read Ellen Zwerver's experience of teaching in Bali;
From the moment I arrived in Bali the kind and wonderful people made me feel very welcome. Immediately I fell in love with Bali’s scenery and its beautiful nature. When I think of Bali now I think of the greenery found in the endless palm trees and rice terraces; the breathtaking waterfalls and magical sunsets; stray animals such as chickens and dogs running across the streets, but most of all the kind people. I have made friends who I am still in contact with and I am grateful to have met them during my experience in Bali.
During the introduction week we got to know the other participants and volunteers as well as the local culture and local area. At the weekend we often travelled around and really got to see Bali and the surrounding islands. But the thing that undoubtedly made my trip as brilliant as it was has to be teaching in the school.
I was a bit nervous on my first day in the school but as soon as I met the children the nerves were replaced with excitement. I felt very excited to start teaching them and it was one the most fun and rewarding experiences. The first week of teaching was all about getting to know them and their level of English. We started off with simple and short sentences such as ‘my name is…’ and ‘how are you?’ After having taught them for 12 weeks I saw how much progress they had made.
We had a whole worksheet full of detailed sentences such as ‘my favourite colour/hobby/animal is’ to sentences about the weather and much more. Seeing the progress they had made by the end of my time has been what has made my experience as significant as it was.
I enjoyed bonding with these incredibly smart and fun children. Over the course of the 12 weeks I ended up really bonding with them. The children became very dear to my heart, they are truly incredible and being able to teach them made me feel very grateful. I also enjoyed preparing the lessons; it was always about finding a way to teach them a new subject in an effective but fun way.
I was constantly creating worksheets and finding out what methods work best for them, and then applying that to create a smooth transition between different subjects so they can make an easy connection between them. It was a challenge, but always fun to prepare their lessons and apply it in class.