For the past year, I have spent nearly ever Wednesday at CALLS, the local alternative high school. For my first two semesters in Dominica, I tutored students and recent graduates, working with them on homework, reading, and math skills (aka maths), in addition to mentoring them and just chatting with them about life.
I have worked mainly with the boys, which is pretty rewarding and entertaining, but also, often frustrating, since many of them have a hard time in school and come from difficult backgrounds. A few of the students I have tutored have left school and dropped out, which is really disheartening. I am always so impressed by the students who stick with CALLS and complete the two-year program. CALLS provides job training and vocational skills, so even for students who don’t excel in a traditional classroom setting, CALLS can teach them a great deal.
Last semester, I joined my good friend Mary, a Peace Corps Volunteer here in Dominica, and helped her teach art classes at CALLS on Wednesday afternoons. It is always interesting – some days good, some days bad – but overall, I love being part of the school and getting to know the students, even though they aren’t always thrilled about art class. In a few minutes, I’ll head to Portsmouth for my first art class this semester. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have a good afternoon!