Today we met the children for the first time. I’ve taught plenty of worse classes in my time, but it certainly wasn’t easy. At one stage, I found myself dripping with sweat, and that had nothing to do with the temperature.
The main problem is communication. I speak one word of Arabic – thank you – and their functional English understanding seems to range from very little to none at all. Not being able to give them clear instructions, nor to give feedback on how to improve, is a real difficulty. Fortunately, I was assisted by two volunteers from Dubai, Zaid and Luzan, here on a slightly different programme, and they were able to translate, but they are only here for one week. After that…
Val and I are working in parallel, me doing drama, her music, with two groups and two classrooms, and then we switch and repeat. Each group has its own personality, and we agreed – actually it was quite clear – that one is far more focused than the other.
So far as I can tell, they are very uncertain about the whole concept of drama. Rehearsal, performance, repetition, focus are all having to be introduced from a low base level. Still, as the song says, the only way is up.
Photo: (c) Jusoor 2016 Annual Report, www.jusoorsyria.com