Volunteer Experiences - Roger Hambly at Westminster School
Teaching at Westminster has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. From the time Eric greeted me as I hopped off the bus in Fumesua until the day the teachers and students farewelled me 6 weeks later, I felt extremely welcome at Westminster School. All the staff were professional, approachable and very willing to help. They treated me as a colleague from day one, even though I was not an experienced teacher.
Teaching was fun. The kids are so eager to learn, and they participate enthusiastically in class. They are also extremely well behaved. Although of course they are kids and love to enjoy themselves and push 'the boundaries'. It certainly made teaching them a pleasure. They responded positively to the various successful (and not so successful) teaching methods I attempted to adopt!
I worked out pretty quickly the more I put into my time at Westminster the more I would get out of it. As well as teaching there was also heaps of fun to be had just 'hanging out' with some of the teachers and students at the boarding house, and helping out with boarding house activities from time to time. I should also say the quality of the accommodation was very good. I had my own room and en suite. The food was also excellent.
There was also plenty of time to enjoy the areas around Fumesua and Kumasi. A highlight of my time here was a day trip one Saturday to lake Bosumtwi with some teachers for some R and R. I also had the pleasure of being invited by some teachers to their homes to share a meal.
I was also fortunate to meet Phillip, the Director of the school. He should certainly be proud of the school he established nearly 10 years ago.
An issue that many volunteers appear to struggle with ( and I was no exception ) is the use of the cane to punish the students.
I was very impressed by the student's pride in their school. They certainly feel privileged to be part of Westminster. I observed the school spirit first hand watching the girls football team beat a neighbouring school one nil in a hard fought victory!
I would like to thank the Director for making the volunteering experience available to me, as well as the headmaster and all the teachers for their support and help. I would certainly recommend volunteering at Westminster. I promise I will visit Westminster again, and catch up with the many teachers who are now my good friends.
Roger Hambly - November 2011