My Tongan Classroom

As you might already know, I served in the Kingdom of Tonga as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2009-2011. I worked as an English teacher at St. Andrew’s High School, a secondary school located in the capital city of Nuku’alofa on the main island, Tongatapu.

Teaching was a big challenge for me! I had no formal (or for that matter, informal) training in education so I pretty much figured it out as I went along. Resources in Tonga were much scarcer than they are here, so I had to get creative with my lesson plans and really protect what I did have, knowing it would be hard to replace. Anyway, I tried my best, and I wanted my classroom to look as nice and interesting. I was able to convince the principal to let me have my own classroom the second year I taught, and I did a lot of fixing up, including painting the tables and benches and putting things on the walls. Here are some pictures, taken at the tail end of my second year:

Here you can see the desks, benches, and the “bookshelf” I made by stacking two benches on top of one another.

A view facing the front of the room and the beautiful chalkboard.

I made these “hello” and “goodbye” signs and then had them laminated (with my own money). It’s essential if you want to keep them in decent shape!

Here’s my messy teachers desk.

A reading station I made with books and New Zealand school journals I got from the school library, as well as some my mom sent me from the states.

My mom sent me the little banner from home, and I think it really brightened up the room!

Class rules (not that anyone followed them), the duty roster (who was supposed to sweep the room and pick up trash after school each day) and the calendar

I tried to make some informational boards to add interest to the room

You can see I kept all of my supplies hoarded behind me in a only semi- successful attempt to keep them from disappearing.

I made this poster about Tonga

The room after a round of final exams.

My cat, Taika, frequently came in and distracted the class kept us company. Good thing he’s cute.

I hope you liked this little peek into my Tongan classroom! I’ll try to put up some more posts about my Peace Corps life soon. For those of you who are interested, I had a blog during my service, which you can access here. Sadly, I wasn’t great at keeping it up so there are only a few posts.

Have a great weekend everyone!!