Stories From the Field – Reading Event at Trongsa PS

We are happy to share another inspiring story from the field! This week, BCF teacher Kyle McGee; who is currently teaching at Trongsa Primary School in Trongsa; participated in managing 400+ students for a reading event held at the school in August.

Photo Credit: Kyle McGee - Class 6 girl helping class 4 boy
Photo Credit: Kyle McGee – Class 6 girl helping class 4 boy
Photo Credit: Kyle McGee - A class 6 girl seems to have tamed a few of the crazier class 4 boys and has them reading!
Photo Credit: Kyle McGee – A class 6 girl seems to have tamed a few of the class 4 boys and has them reading!

It seemed like an impossible task. Manage 400+ 8-10 year old students with only 3 people – one quiet teacher, one caretaker, and myself. All of the other teachers were required to go to a parent meeting and we would have to manage by ourselves. 

As I knew about it the day before, I was able to do some planning. We had all the class teachers tell the students to bring their library books. Saturday would be the first day of a Reading Buddy program we had talked about. 

The next day was challenging to say the least. As there was little supervision, most of the students avoided work during their normal cleanup time. We rang the assembly bell late and that caused more confusion. A sound system was arranged so I could talk to all the students and tell them what was going on. 

Photo Credit: Kyle McGee - A small group of class 4 and 6 girls - A few of them can't read without help..
Photo Credit: Kyle McGee – A small group of class 4 and 6 girls

The concept was simple. Upper class students would partner up with lower class students to help them read their books. Arranging the students was much more of a challenge. After our traditional assembly, we lined up all the students by sections. As I was trying to explain what we would do, the power went out and chaos ensued. Luckily the other few staff members stepped in to help. 

We started matching up students and sent them to areas to start to read together. It took awhile to round up a few students who ran off, but we finally got things going. 

…In the end, we decided to implement this program every Wednesday. We now forgo the morning assembly and 1st period just for reading and it has helped a lot. I’m just glad things worked out and the kids really had lots of fun reading! 

Trongsa PS has a blog, which highlights some of their experiences, the history of the school, and professional development. There are a few posts with absolutely stunning photos about the successful reading program at Trongsa PS, which you can read here: Bhutanese Teachers’ Teaching at Trongsa Primary School.

For more Stories From the Field check out our series!

Stories From the Field – Reading Event at Trongsa PS

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