Our first few weeks have flown by and we are beginning to settle into a routine now. Cliff has all his lecture commitments on Monday but spends quite a bit of other days consulting with groups of students over their assignments or their research projects. He is also moving the student welfare project forward on two fronts. Firstly the legal side which involves setting up a trust at St John's to administer any funds that may be donated towards the project. Secondly he is involving the Geography students in surveying the perimeter of the university grounds in order to establish the path of the new fence to improve the security on campus. We have already had donations of approximately $1300 towards the fence and we have the agreement in principle of EdAid in New Zealand to accept tax deductible donations and transfer funds once building commences. If you are interested in supporting this project or want more detail please contact us.
I am now teaching for three hours on Tuesday and four hours on Thursday and Friday. Some of this is small group tutoring in English and some is to bigger groups in the teaching method classes and the English Department. Both areas are rewarding as you introduce and demonstrate more student focused and interactive class activities to the students and enable them to relate these to their own classroom teaching. The second year class have just returned from teaching practice where their class numbers averaged 50, often without the availability of even the most basic resources. We are trying to encourage them to use what is available such as old newspapers, bottle tops and food containers to create teaching aids that will enliven their lessons. It must be very easy for them to become despondent at what is lacking rather than challenged by what is available.
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