“There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.”
It has been said that there are two kinds of change – radical change and incremental change. We recently made a radical change – by moving to a new campus. The purchase was completed in November 2017. We tackled the most urgent renovations as quickly as we could and then moved in on 7 December with the help of volunteers from our partners, East Mountain and The Message Church. In January we unpacked the boxes and started the new school year. We are now seven weeks into the first term enjoying the new campus. We have six classrooms for our six classes, a hall, space for a small sports field and even an activity room for chess and music and the library. This has been a radical and exciting change.
It has been a time of adjustment for all of us, but especially for our new children. With the new space we grew from 75 to 90 children, and we also have a new teacher for the new grade – Grade 4. We are glad to all be in one building now, rather than being spread out in several small buildings.
However, there has also been a lot of incremental change. The new building has required a lot of work. Much of the work has been repairs and maintenance: leaky plumbing, damaged doors and windows, repainting the roof and so on. But we’ve also been making the space our own – putting up boards in the classrooms, cleaning up the building and grounds, getting furniture and equipment in place and so forth. The building is in desperate need of repainting, which is our next big project. Little by little, we are changing the building into our new home.
Despite the dust and noise, classes are running and there is teaching and learning happening wherever you look. The staff team is hard at work with the assistance of an increasing number of parent volunteers. Our volunteer music teacher is also back this year, teaching all six classes, and two new volunteers have started a physical education programme at TCC. We are delighted to see so many people investing into these children. We even had a volunteer teacher all the way from the UK, who spent a few weeks at TCC, with her own children joining our classes and making new friends.
There is much more work to be done in the months ahead, especially in building a playground. We plan to have a work day in May where you can come get your hands dirty. We also need to increase our number of sponsors to keep up with the growth of the school. (Don’t be shy to tell your friends and family!) After starting with a radical change, we expect 2018 to be a year packed with little incremental changes. Fortunately that is nothing new to educators – we work daily for the tiniest incremental changes in our learners in hope of seeing truly transformational change in the long run.