Creating A Positive Impact: Bcf Teacher’s School Development Projects!

We are excited to share with you some of the amazing school development projects our teachers have been working on within their schools! For 2014, the School Development Program is funded by the EuroCan Foundation, which focuses on conservation issues, particularly as they relate to renewable energies, climate change and sustainability.

Water Tap Kevin
Photo Credit: Kevin Kilkuskie

Kevin Kilkuskie’s waste management project at the Bidung Lower Secondary School, “Clean Today, Cleaner Tomorrow”, hopes to implement awareness raising and education campaigns surrounding waste management practices. Waste bins, and information on recyclying will be used to teach students and the community about the importance of keeping the environment clean and how recycling and reusing materials can be sustainable and beneficial for future generations!

Travis Dewan has focused his efforts on developing an Environmental Conservation project with the goal of protecting the environment by using sustainable waste management practices among the students and community. Travis’ project hopes to engage students in waste management by integrating visual art and creativity! At the Rangjung Lower Secondary School, art will be incorporated by creating garbage bins with bright colours, environmental proverbs, slogans and visual images. Travis hopes art will attract students to use these bins to safely dispose of waste, and create a sense of responsibility and interest in environmental conservation!

Colourful Bin
Creatively Designed Bins!

Warren Tanner a teacher at the Gonthung Middle Secondary School has developed a Greenhouse project that aims to cultivate fruits and vegetables and serve as an interactive classroom where students can learn and grow, while also contributing to the well-being of the school and surrounding community!

Sara Diamond is working on a WASH project that aims to minimize the occurrence of water-borne diseases from unsanitary drinking water by implementing a water filtration system. Currently, at the Tshangkha Lower Secondary School, students do not have access to a sustainable clean water source, relying on boiled water supplied from the school kitchen. The water filtration system will provide students, staff, and the greater community with a clean supply of water, leaving students happy and healthy while reducing illness!

Diamond, Sarah - Students
Photo Credit: Sarah Diamond

Sharon Gan Chi Ching’s project is a Botanical Garden at the Pemagatshel Middle Secondary School. This garden will be an area where students can learn about different plant life and species, complimenting what they learn in the classroom. In addition to the garden, washing stations and water taps will be constructed in order to provide students with alternative sanitation areas to keep clean before and after meals, teaching the importance of personal hygiene!

Ashley Lenzen is committed to developing a deer rehabilitation park for the injured wildlife nearby the Nangkor Higher Secondary School by creating a Nature Park . Multiple deer have already been rescued and the current enclosure is insufficient to properly rehabilitate the injured animals. The park would provide a safe place for the deer to recover, while also encouraging students to take initiative in caring for the environment!

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Students in the Classroom at Tshangkha Lower Secondary School.
Photo Credit: Sarah Diamond

All of these eager teachers are getting ready to launch their projects! Stay tuned for more updates as the school year progresses! For Previous School Development Projects, visit Stories from the Field.

Teachers Retreat Next Week!

There are only two terms in the school year in Bhutan and right now schools are coming towards the end of Term One. With a break in between terms, our current teachers in Bhutan will be gathering for a well deserved mid-year retreat in Trashigang!

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BCF Class of 2014 in Thimphu

Check out last year’s retreat and photos from their experience in Bumthang!

Applications to Teach in Bhutan for the 2015 season are still open! Apply today!

The Other Final

In honour of the current World Cup games, we’d like to remember the beautiful story of The Other Final, chronicling an alternative football match played in Thimphu, coinciding with the 2002 World Cup final!

Directed by Johan Kramer, The Other Final shines the spotlight on what were considered to be the two lowest ranked teams in the FIFA world rankings in 2002 – Bhutan and Montserrat! While the World Cup finals were being watched by billions in Japan, two teams set out to win their own victory in Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan.

The film shows how football can prove to be a global language that unites very different people and countries as it follows both teams in their preparation for the game. In stark contrast to the World Cup, the game was free to attend and was an opportunity for both countries to earn international recognition and promote the positive aspects of their nations. 

Blog of the Week – A Short Account of the Places we’ve Visited in Bhutan

BCF Teacher Angela Sutton and her husband Brett are currently placed in Khaling, which is in the Trashigang district of Bhutan. They have had a few opportunities to explore other parts of this wonderful country and share their experiences on their most recent blog post February – May 2014: A Short Account of the Places we’ve Visited in Bhutan!

“We’ve been away from Khaling a number of times over the past few months, mostly to meet up with other foreign teachers.  It’s always nice to be able to see others who are sharing the same experiences as there is always an outsider’s perspective of a place that no native can ever share or understand unless they’ve spent considerable time in the culture from which you come and from which your perspectives originate.”  

Photo credit: Brett Sutton - Rangjung
Photo credit: Brett Sutton – Rangjung
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton - Mongar
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton – Mongar

Check out Angela and Brett’s blog I Prefer to Enjoy It!

Top Reasons to Teach in Bhutan!

Are you interested in teaching in Bhutan, but want to learn more?

Here are six great reasons why you should join The Bhutan Canada Foundation overseas for this unique teaching opportunity!

engage with students and culture collage

1. Engage with Passionate Students

“In some ways kids are the same wherever you go – playful, easily bored, a little cheeky. There are of course many differences. As a teacher, when I enter the school in Bhutan, I am greeted by every student I pass. Each one bows reverently and says, “Good morning Sir.” – Paul Diver, English and Math teacher at Chumey MSS, Bumthang (joined by his wife and three children)

“Student engagement is not hard to create. I have the students repeat a ‘word of the day’ in unison … This is my first-ever teaching job and so far (so short) I love it.”  Mac Walton, Math teacher at Tsebar LSS, Pemagatshel

2. Connect with Locals and Experience a New Culture

“We really felt honoured to be included in such a small village festival and these are the days we will cherish when we look back on our time in Bhutan. The villagers made us feel welcome and when it was time to leave, people came from all directions to shake our hands and thank us for coming. It was truly a magical day …” – Paul Diver, English and Math teacher at Chumey MSS, Bumthang (joined by his wife and three children)

3. Make an Tangible Impact

“I know that by the end of this year, I can improve their English, get them thinking, make them feel more confident and hopefully, teach them to see themselves in a more positive light. These students appreciate me being here and they show me their appreciation every single day.” – Carmelita Realeza, Primary teacher at Kanglung PS, Trashigang

Expereince breathtaking views

4. Be a part of a Community

“If I need anything, someone is willing to help me out. This includes cooking for me, guiding me up the mountains for weekend hikes, providing me with fresh un-pasturized milk…There’s such a sense of community that nobody can stand to see me sitting alone…” – Ashley & Mike Lenzen, Math teacher at Nangkhor HSS, Pemagatshel (joined by husband, Mike)

5. Build Lifelong Friendships

“Although the first week was harder than the following ones, it would have been much more difficult if not for newfound friends. I am so grateful for the teachers, students and other members of the community taking care of me.”  Mac Walton, Math teacher at Tsebar LSS, Pemagatshel

6. Explore Breathtaking Views of the Himalayas

 “I had hoped all along that blue skies would bless my last few days in Bhutan as I wanted very much to see the big mountains. Once again, as had happened so many times, Bhutan provided.” – Brick Root, Math and Science teacher at Gaselo HSS, Wangdue

Applications for the 2015 school year are now open!

Apply to Teach in Bhutan by July 31, 2014

Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana

Duechen Nga Zom is observed on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Bhutanese calendar yearly. In 2014, that date is Friday June 13 and is a National Holiday in Bhutan.

LordBuddha

Buddha Parinirvana or Duechen Nga Zom is considered one of the most auspicious days for Buddhists. Thousands of people across the Kingdom visit Dzongs, Lhakhangs, and Goendeys to offer prayers in commemoration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and entry into Nirvana.

To learn more: Nation observes Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana

Seven Weeks Left to Apply to Teach in Bhutan!

This is a unique opportunity for qualified teachers to work in the Himalayan country of Bhutan; a country ruled by happiness, where culture and tradition are closely guarded, Buddhist values prevail and the majestic peaks of the Himalayas are part of every landscape!

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Here are some of the most important qualities we look for in our candidates:

Resourcefulness: This is an important quality for teachers in that Bhutan is much different from your home-town. You must be able to cope with the day to day living in Bhutan as well as being resourceful in your new position!

Patience: Everything comes in baby steps; just remember that it will take time to become comfortable in your new surroundings.

Independence: Our teachers are very independent in their new living and teacher positions! You will have to develop lesson plans for your students so independence is key.

Adaptability: In Bhutan everything, whether it be the altitude, cold/heat extremes, limited food options, simple accommodation, power, internet and water outages, superstition, complacency, or six day work weeks, will be new and you will have to adapt to your surroundings.

A positive attitude: Living and teaching in Bhutan is an amazing and unique experience! If you keep a positive attitude you will be sure to succeed.

A sense of humour: Be able to laugh at yourself! This will be a learning process, not all lesson plans will go “according to plan”.

Flexibility: Be able to “go with the flow”. Day to day life and teaching in Bhutan is never the same each day. Along with adaptability you must be flexible with occurrences at school or at home.

Keep these qualities in mind when applying or even during your interviews to really wow us. If you have the required recommendations but show us that you have what it takes to teach in the beautiful Kingdom of Bhutan you will be sure to succeed in the recruitment process!

Apply to Teach In Bhutan today!

Celebrity Chef Explores Bhutan’s Culinary Traditions!

The Delhi based celebrity chef Kunal Kapur decided to extend his stay following the Mountain Echoes Festival in Bhutan to discover the country’s unique cuisine. Despite Bhutan’s size relative to its larger neighbours, Bhutan has managed to preserve its culinary traditions, proving it has a lot of knowledge to offer even the most experienced chefs!

Ema-Datshi
Traditional Bhutan Dish: Ema Datshi (Chillies with Cheese)
Photo Credit: Phorum Dalal

“It was a completely new cooking lesson for me. I had assumed the Bhutanese food would be heavily influenced by its three neighbours. But I was mistaken. It has a cuisine of its own,” says Kapur, “Bhutanese food, be it at the queen mother’s royal palace or on the road-side cart is humble, filling and nutritious; served by smiling people exuding a sense of happiness”. – Mid-day, A taste of Bhutan’s spicy cuisine

Photo(s) of the Week – Gardening in Bhutan

Two teachers currently in Bhutan – Ashley Lenzen who is teaching Math at Nangkhor HSS in Pemagatshel, and Angela Sutton who is teaching Special Education at Khaling LSS in Trashigang – share photos from their individual gardens!

“Here’s what I see when I open my front door – fresh vegetables in the garden with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Everything is so green these days!” – Ashley Lenzen

Photo Credit: Ashley Lenzen
Photo Credit: Ashley Lenzen

“The first zucchini from the garden! It was delicious! Can’t wait till more can be harvested and we get to introduce zucchinis to our friends in Khaling!” – Angela Sutton

Photo Credit: Angela Sutton
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton

Follow along with Angela and her husband on their blog I Prefer to Enjoy It and Ashley and her husband on their blog Traveled Earth.

Apply to Teach In Bhutan today!