Hands Up, Heads Together: Brainstorming Sessions for Volunteers


Hi, I’m Divya. I volunteer for the Hands Up Project, which is, to me, one of the most salubrious, stimulating, high-impact spaces in the world of language teaching. Like most volunteers, I relish my hour a week of accompanying an English teacher in Gaza, with group of children I’ve grown, needlessly to say, very attached to, and whom I have lots of fun preparing lessons for. I’m rediscovering, after 18 years of teaching, the warm fuzz of designing an activity that gets a child excited about language learning.

This weekend I got together with a few other Hands Up Project volunteers, to launch our first, in a series of, feedback and development sessions for fellow volunteers. We talked about the unique reality of being a virtual presence in a classroom, which some of us are new to; we exchanged ideas on how we manage the dialogue and space. We dished out our tales of individual creativity, intuition and the extra-mile responses that we find ourselves needing to tap into, when we experience the inevitable computer-says-no moment (I found myself mimicking something not dissimilar to the Dream House sequence in Modern Times recently at one such moment). We talked about rhythm in particular and the wholly different ciphers to gauging lesson dynamics as a remote teacher. We shared smiles, stories and little bits of classroom wisdom that these kinds of conversations bring. And we’ve decided to keep going. So the next session will be on March 15th.

Save the date and see you there!



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