Having studied German and Philosophy at The University of Victoria, Martin then lived in Europe before returning to Canada for a Teaching Certificate. He has taught French Immersion at the Middle School level for over two decades. When not playing soccer or involved in local theatre productions, Martin loves to make things: in the forest, the garden, the basement and the kitchen!
As part of our ongoing “Stories From The Field” series, today we’re featuring a story from second year BCF teacher, Nick Morris, who is posted in Khaling. Nick recently shared the following story with us:
Yesterday I was on the school bus, returning home from a football match between our school team and a team from Rangjung. I have been coaching the school team for the past four months or so, trying to establish some sort of cohesion in an otherwise disorganized, albeit extremely talented team.
We won our match 8-0 and the team’s jubilation was expressed through song and cheers the entire three-hour journey home. The bus ride reminded me of so many school team trips that I had been a part of during my student days. There was a spirit that I had hoped would blossom through hard work and dedication to the improvement of the team. I have been pushing the boys hard, making them run several kilometres every day in an effort not only to improve their fitness but also in the hopes of building solidarity.
Last night, on our long journey home from the match, I watched team spirit manifest itself on our school bus. I selected twenty players for the school team this year, but only fifteen were allowed to play in this tournament. The five players whom I asked to sit out accepted the role humbly and without argument. They were disappointed, of course, but they understood. And on our journey back from our victory, I can honestly say that I could not have distinguished between those who had played in the match and those who had sat out. When I named the “man of the match” the rest of the team cheered zealously for him. And then the praise took on a life of its own. At first, one player shouted out another player’s name and noted a positive contribution he had made during the match…the others all cheered and applauded. Then another followed suit. And soon, each player’s name, not to mention my name and the names of those students who were asked not to dress, were being called out to a roaring chorus of cheers.
There was an energy, a cohesion, that I hadn’t felt since my days in competitive sports. We were each a part of something bigger than just ourselves. As night fell, the individuals of the team faded in the darkness, and the voice of one unit brought together by the bonds of brotherhood and friendship rang out through the bus. We are a team: we will win as a team and we will lose as one. I was honoured to be a part of it.
BCF teachers are truly an incredible bunch of people. Not only do they work long hard hours teaching classes six days a week, but they somehow also find the time to start exciting new projects and initiatives in their schools. Newspaper clubs have been championed by Lisa, Nick and Keira at each of their respective schools, a recycling and waste management program is getting off the ground with Kendra’s help in Trashiyangtse, and in Mongar a special education resource center is being filled with new materials with the help of Julia and Charly.
In Rangjung, BCF teacher Vicky has gone above and beyond the call of duty to start a photography club. Currently, the photography club has one camera, which Vicky brought with her from Australia. Over the past year, Vicky and her club of enthusiastic and talented members have worked incredibly hard to raise funds to purchase new cameras so that each class level might have its own chapter of the club. BCF will match the funds raised by the club and new cameras will be purchased during the school break this winter.
Vicky sent us a fantastic email detailing the great success of the club and incuded some beautiful photos taken by club members. Enjoy!
Finally I have almost collected all the funds I set out to and the final figures are available. We sold an amazing total of 3,087 photographs and made 5 ngultrums on each one, so our total raised is 15, 435 nu!
I have researched the camera situation and with your support we should be able to buy 4 x Canon Powershot A3300IS cameras and some spare batteries and SD cards for them. This would mean that each class level would have a camera of their own and that our club should be able to grow to 4 times its current size. These cameras have good specs and rechargeable batteries and come in different colours making it easier for me to keep track of which camera belongs to which year level.
Tomorrow night will be Rangjung Secondary High School’s Award Night and the student co-ordinator of the club will be given a certificate and as it turns out she will also get a prize for having sold the greatest number of photographs this year. This achievement is all the more astounding as she stopped being a club member at the beginning of this semester to focus on her studies, as she is in Class XII. Her Name is Khandu Dema. I will announce at the assembly tomorrow that we will be able to buy the cameras and the exact funds raised so that the students concerned are all aware of the results of their hard work.
The BCF is excited to work with teachers whose experience is as vast as working in Antarctica to volunteering in the Canadian north to teaching abroad in Korea.