Going back into schools
When the school term started and restrictions were slowly loosening up, I was both - excited and reluctant to leave the safety of my desk and to meet Jacari pupils, their families and our lovely volunteers. Here at Jacari Bristol we double-checked that we were safe and were taking precautions to go back to face-to-face tuition and provided guidance to our volunteers to help them stay safe.
It has been a fantastic experience to be with others, to meet kids who have so much energy and of whom I can now say “oh yes, A. likes to play home, so let’s make sure she’s learning vocabulary that will help her naming objects when she plays home with other children. B. has got a new watch and likes numbers - we can plan our lesson with him based on counting numbers and things in the classroom where we meet every week (four chairs, two windows etc)”.
Meeting with volunteers has also been really rewarding since we get a chance to have a quick catch up, discuss any possible issues or share ideas on how to engage their Jacari pupil more. It’s lovely to hear their updates about children’s progress or even their personal achievements. For example Sasha was told her Jacari pupil is much more confident, takes part in lessons more AND comes to school everyday since they started with Jacari. Shalini and Camilla were told, by the school teachers, that their Jacari pupils are making a lot of progress and that their reading skills have improved. What great feedback for the work they are doing! It also makes us, as Coordinators, feel happy that both pupils and volunteers are enjoying the Jacari experience.
Overall, the whole going back to face-to-face experience has been great and I love the energy and positivity of the lovely Jacari pupils and volunteers, although I still wear a mask in all public spaces!