Summer Reading Program

“I sense this may be and will be a life-altering experience- but I’m not yet sure in what ways….”
Mary Ann Pruyser, one of BCF’s volunteer teachers this summer, has given us a look into her pre-departure thoughts. This month marks the take off of our Summer Reading Program. We’re sending 16 amazing teachers, including Mary Ann, to embark on a trip of a lifetime, acting as reading mentors to students in Bhutan. Understandably, these teachers have a lot on their minds. Here’s what she had to say:
“I feel confident, but know I will have to train myself out of the western way of thinking and make that inevitable adjustment to ‘traditional society’ lifestyle – letting go of a focus on materialism and the need to be comfortable at all times.

I’m very excited about the prospect of exploring this unique culture which I’ve been fascinated with for many years. I feel very privileged to be part of a Canadian excursion to Bhutan – a once in a life time experience. Looking forward to observing the culture from a western perspective and then upon return to Canada, observing my culture from an eastern more traditional perspective.

I’m curious about exploring ways that will assist young Bhutanese to improve their English skills in a short time. 

I’m expecting to gain friendships, connections for future volunteer teaching experiences, challenging myself through the harder times which will inevitably be part of such a trip, gaining a deep appreciation about how locals live their lives, viewing the breathtaking landscape.”

Looking for an experience to bring perspective and adventure into your life like Mary Ann? Check out our programs and upcoming trips at www.bhutancanada.org

 

Life in Bhutan

Have you ever wondered what the day to day life is like in Bhutan? One of our current teachers Josh Cook writes a great blog post on his walk to the bakery. Through this post he is able to paint a picture of life in Bhutan. A must read for anyone interested in our Teach In Bhutan Program or our Summer Reading Program. Let Josh’s writing take you to the hills of the Bhutanese countryside.

Check out the post here: http://jcook-onthemove.blogspot.ca/2016/03/a-walk-to-bakery.html

Remember: Applications for our Teach In Bhutan Program are due MARCH 31 2017. Learn more and apply here

Reasons to Teach in Bhutan!

Looking for another reason to Teach in Bhutan? We are loving this article by Intrepid Travel about reasons why Bhutan might be the most liveable country in the world! If you are interested in experiencing Bhutan, apply to Teach in Bhutan by March 31st!

Colourful festival in Bhutan

What is your favourite part of living in Bhutan? Let us know below!

Meet the Class of 2016!

Teach In Bhutan’s Class of 2016 arrived in Bhutan in January, and they are just settling into their new homes and classrooms. We would love to tell you about how wonderful they are, but we are going to let them introduce themselves!

Front Row (left to right): Sonam Choki (Ministry of Education), Valerie Ball, Meena Subba (Bhutan Canada), Laura Jenkins, Madame Secretary Aum Sangay Zam (Ministry of Education), Nancy Strickland (Bhutan Canada)
Back Row: (Left to Right): Sean Cafferty, James Dove, Tim McFarland, Josh Cook

James Dover

Teacher James Dover

My name is James and I am a 25 years old. I am tall and skinny with brown hair and brown eyes. I live in Vancouver, Canada and teach grade 5 and 6 French. I enjoy traveling to new places and exploring the outdoors. My favorite outdoor activities are hiking, biking and swimming in the ocean. When I’m not outside I like listening to music and watching movies with my friends. I am a linguist who speaks French, German and some basic Spanish. I am excited to learn about the Bhutanese culture and I hope to learn some words in Sharchop.

Laura Jenkins

Teacher - Laura

Born and raised in the southeastern United States, I am anything but a typical Georgia Peach. I consider my greatest accomplishment to be my two children, who have grown into fine young adults. I was a classroom teacher for 11 years, a school counselor for 7 years, an assistant principal for 1, and a principal for 9 years. Now, after a lifetime of service to the public school system in the state of Georgia, I am ready for the next phase of service. I have always loved to travel, and have always wanted to teach overseas after retiring from the school system. I am so excited and so very passionate about helping children on their life’s journey.

Joshua Cook

Teacher - Josh Cook

I grew up in Colorado, U.S.A. I am a teacher who is passionate about developing culturally responsive and progressive pedagogy that serves all students. I am also an avid rock climber that loves spending time in the mountains. I have an M.A. in English Education, and has taught in Peru, Japan, and most recently in my home city of Denver. I am very excited to continue my international adventures in Bhutan, a country I have dreamed of living in for many years now.

We hope to share with you more stories from the class of 2016! Stay tuned!

Bhutan Reading Program

We are currently recruiting for our Spring Bhutan Reading Program and the application deadline is January 31st 2016!

This is a unique experience for Teachers to spend their time in a meaningful way. This program allows Canadian teachers to travel to Bhutan for 4-weeks and act as reading mentors/teachers to children in Bhutan. The dates for the 2016 Spring Reading Program is April 7 – May 7 2016

Bhutan 312

 

In order to qualify to participate in the Bhutan Reading Program individuals need to meet the following criteria:

  • Experienced and qualified Canadian Teachers (with a B.Ed and/or teaching license and five years of experience).
  • Teaching subjects should be at the elementary level or English at any level; additional qualifications in reading, literacy, English
    specialization, and ESL are highly sought.
  • English-speaking Canadians who hold a valid Canadian passport.
  • Spouses/family are not permitted to accompany Reading Program teachers unless both are teachers who fit the above criteria and participate in the Program.
  • Teachers must complete a BCF medical evaluation form with their general physician and be in excellent health.

For more information look at our check out our website

Questions about any aspect of the program, or about Bhutan, can also be addressed to Andrea Geddes Poole, the Executive Director in BCF’s Toronto office, 647-233-6607.

Lynne’s Solar Lights Project

One of our teachers Lynne Maher worked on a solar lights project in her community in Bhutan. These are useful for when there are power outages and students want to study after sun down. The photo posted below was taken after dark with only the solar lights brightening the Multipurpose hall! How cool is that?! Our teachers are doing pretty amazing things in Bhutan and we are proud of all of them. Way to go Lynne! 

The project could not have happened without support of the EuroCan Foundation, Peter Wall, Fin McShane, Marc & Susan Duldig, Barb McQueen, Kristina Brown, Tina Maher, Deidree McMaster and Peter Shanks, Maryanne Peebles,Michael Moon, Susan Ballard, Benita Vincent, Kate Wagner, Chris Scarr, Andrew & Lynne Morrison,Kayleen Dunn, Cathy Gill and the the support staff of Kheni LSS who installed the lights. And, of course Principal Gyelpo Sherpa, Sir, who supported the project. 

Blog of the Week – The Year of the Reader

Reese Ishmael currently teaches English at Mongar Lower Secondary School, and this past week he and two other teachers were chosen to coordinate Reading Day, along with 5 other local schools. This event included a 5-hour reading program, student readings and performances, prizes and refreshments, all to celebrate the “Year of the Reader”. Here is what Reese had to say after being asked to coordinate the event:

“I’ve never been asked to do anything remotely on this scale. Thousands of students would be in attendance! The stakes were also high because reading holds special significance in Bhutan this year. The secretary to the minister of education emphasized that we as foreign teachers should work diligently to improve students’ readership. The minister of education echoed these statements when he visited my school.  I myself had chosen the school’s theme for the year as “building life-long readers” in response to the national designation of 2015 as the “Year of the Reader”.”

Reese, along with his two counterparts, dedicated weeks to research, organise and schedule the day’s activities and programs, not to mention figuring out how to tailor each to the reading abilities of each age group. There were three main competitions that took place: the buddy reading for grades 1-6, a reader’s theatre for grades 7-10 and a read and retell exercise for grades 11-12. Prior to the event, students volunteered to help prepare for the day as well, by cleaning the town’s central park, as well as making and setting up literary decorations.

Reading Day took place on a clear Saturday. The day was a huge success, not only attracting several students and teachers, but also many people from nearby communities who came together to watch the performances. Here is how Reese described the competitions:

Photo Credit: Reese Ishmael - Reading Day in Mongar
Photo Credit: Reese Ishmael – Reading Day in Mongar

“Student speakers who had practiced for weeks finally gave their speeches. The mic was working—a miracle given its track record, and the students were audible. Next the district education officer delivered a speech on the importance of reading, followed by one by the governor. All was going according to plan, but my mind was still focused upon damage control. The poetry reenactment by our class 5 was a bit robotic, but there were no striking errors, falls, or slip-ups.”

Congratulations Reese on all of your success! Reading Day was clearly an incredible experience for students and teachers alike, and such a fantastic way to promote reading throughout the community.

You can find out more about Reading Day and more of Reese’s adventures on his blog Chillies and Dragons!

Blog of the Week – Rooftop Madness

Reese Ishmael is teaching English at Mongar Lower Secondary School. See how Reese is acclimatizing to the frequent celebrations in Bhutan and the meaning of community in Mongar Dzongkhag.

Photo Credit: Reese Ishmael - View from Home.
Photo Credit: Reese Ishmael – View from Home.

“The clock ticks slowly here and no one ever seems to be in a hurry. People make impromptu plans as opposed to arranging in advance. Conversations last hours and afternoons turn into all-day events. My friend Yeshi insists this is the better way to live; enjoying the moment. I am sure I will warm to the process in time, but in the thick of my culture shock I find adjustments like these particularly difficult—perhaps more so here than any other country I’ve lived in because of its cultural richness.” -BCF teacher Reese Ishmael in his blog post Rooftop Madness

Follow along with Reese at his blog Chillies and Dragons!

The New York Times – Last-Ranked Bhutan Stuns Sri Lanka a Second Time

Congratulations to Bhutan’s national soccer team! On March seventeenth Bhutan won 2-1 against Sri Lanka, securing them a group stage spot in the Asian qualifications for the 2018 Soccer World Cup. This is Bhutan’s first victory in an international soccer play since 2008. Kharma Shedrup Tshering, the teams captain, exclaimed the joy of the win by exclaiming “We let them hear the roar of the Dragon.” Last-Ranked Bhutan Stuns Sri Lanka a Second Time.

Bhutan vs. Sri Lanka

 

Blog of the Week – A Day in My Life

Megan Haskin is currently teaching English at Rangjung LSS in Trashigang. Find out what an average day looks like for Megan in Bhutan.

“I feel grateful for how quickly I have adjusted and really feel that I have my new friends to thank for it! The staff and my principal are just so kind and friendly – they made me feel right at home on the first day…Right now I love eating Kewa Datsi, drinking large amounts of naja (milk tea), being extra social, walking everywhere I need to go and of course, I love teaching these precious children!”

 – BCF teacher Megan Haskin from her post A Day in my Life. 

Photo Credit: Megan Haskin - Megan and her students.
Photo Credit: Megan Haskin – Megan and her students.

Follow along at Megan’s blog The Haskin Journal!