Intern Journal: Learning from Each Other

Last weekend marked several important days here at TYO: Universal Children’s Day, our Open Day, and the passage of the midway mark for our fall internship program.

As I was surrounded by dozens of kids clamoring to have their faces painted as Spider-man, Batman, hearts, moons, stars, flowers, butterflies (a good Arabic lesson for me that day!), I found a moment to reflect on the past month and a half here in Nablus.

I have been trying to teach my students here at TYO as much as they teach me. Every day with them is a new learning experience, as a teacher, as a foreigner and as a person. I hope that I am doing my best, and that my students like me. They keep coming back, so hopefully that is a good sign.

I crafted a nine-week schedule for my drama class at the beginning of this semester, and it has absolutely flown out the window. Every lesson that I plan for them, assuming that it will take at least a week (two classes), has been consumed by them in just one class! Even when I think that my English explanation cannot be properly translated into Arabic and grasped by my students, they are always two steps ahead of me and ready to go. My goal is to challenge, entertain and inform them at least as much as they do so for me.

In the past few weeks my class has covered many of the basics of the mechanics of theater, including costumes, sets and scripts. For the sets, we painted a backdrop and made free standing trees, as well as cut out clouds, a moon and a sun to hang in the classroom. On costume day, the students used their creativity to design costumes representing characters (bee, tiger, police man, etc), and then performed in front of the class to see if their fellow students could guess their character. On script day, the students learned the basic format of scripts and turned a children’s story into a scene to perform for their classmates.

Considering how quickly my boys and girls are moving through my lesson plans, I hope that we will be able to put together everything we have learned to put on a production for the rest of TYO!


Bieta is an intern at TYO Nablus.