How and where to begin?
We came out here not really knowing what to expect but with our limited experience of Ladakhi schools firmly in mind. Yet Shamrock has proved to be totally unexpected. The school was set up some 8 years ago by two businessmen, using an ex-hotel here in Lakeside. Neither of them lives in Nepal but both try to visit annually. The school, meanwhile, is run by a splendid ex Sergeant-Major called Michael who is headmaster, manager, surrogate grandfather and DIY genius!
Andy, with whom we traveled here, works as a facilitator and resultant with global companies in Europe and the Middle East, and visits regularly to deliver teacher-training to the staff, many of whom are ex-students, either studying for their A level equivalents or in university locally; other staff have degrees, even Masters, but none is a qualified teacher with the equivalent to a PGCE or BED.
Our role here is more in the role of teacher-trainers (yes, really!), than teaching a specific subject – although I’m quite sure we’ll find ourselves filling in here and there. We have just spend 4 days engaged in team-building and lesson planning, focusing on visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities to reinforce learning, as well as observing lessons and giving feed-back. It’s been pretty intensive but most of the staff are responding well and the pupils are loving the more interactive lessons! (They are used to ‘chalk and talk’ and rote learning from the extremely prescriptive year text books.)