You Probably Haven’t Ever Been To School

This is one of our volunteers Brittany Bee Pummell.

Britts has been working with us in Thessaloniki (Northern Greece) for a while now, teaching English to the Syrian kids in a couple of the camps we work in there.

She told us:

“I’ve been giving extra, private tuition to the children who are behind in my class.

With an age range of 7 to 11, adhering to their needs can be difficult at the best of times. Some children are incredibly bright and grasp a concept immediately and whizz their way through the work…

Others require more explaining and careful attention paid to them.

After a hectic lesson last week, where I nearly cried with frustration, I took myself to the rooms of the particularly disruptive children, and sat down with the parents over sweet, hot tea and explained how I’d like to give their child some extra tuition outside of normal classroom hours.

Each parent was delighted.

Of course you’re going to be disruptive if you don’t understand what’s going on. If you don’t understand the foreign mother tongue of your teacher, or the strange squiggles she writes on the board. Or why others around you can grasp it, and you simply can’t.

So this week I really feel so happy to be able to report that it’s going really well. The kids seem to love the one-on-one attention and in the hours I’ve spent with each of them I can already notice a difference.

One child who is very behind and therefore naturally very inattentive in school even softly tapped on my door outside of his allocated tutor hours to ask for some more help…

The reality is that if you’re 7, and the Syrian regime has been ongoing for 5 years, you probably haven’t ever been to school.

I’m trying to create a fun, safe and enjoyable atmosphere in the classroom so that when they do finally settle in their future, safe country, they’ll hopefully think of school with excitement and as a safe place they want to be.

So I’m taking some extra time to be mindful of their needs and it feels so awesome️”

(Photo by Olga Saliampoukou)