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Aurelia Darveau-Smith

Name

Aurelia Darveau-Smith

Location

Autsho MSS, Lhuentse

Level

7 - 9

Subjects

English

Hometown

Hemingford, Nebraska

A country girl, Reidi grew up on in rural Nebraska, farming the land and raising the various animals her family had. She believes this unique upbringing, aside from producing some hilarious stories, also coincidentally prepared her for the time she spent rural Bhutan. She graduated from the University of San Diego in 2003, majoring in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Philosophy. In the time between her undergraduate and postgraduate studies, she was a tutor in AP Lit./History, Essay Writing, SAT prep, and all other English and History subject areas, primarily for ESL students that had immigrated from China and Korea. This experience was the catalyst for her attending San Diego State’s College of Teacher Education and receiving her Secondary English credential in 2011.  Reidi taught English to grade 7 – 9 students at Autsho MSS.

Blog: Himalayan View

story from the field

Library improvement

The Library Improvement Project that has been done at AMSS has been just that: improving. I think one of the most positive outcomes of this project has been that the students themselves were able to take part in the renovations and organizing of the new books and decorations we purchased for the library. They got a sense of excitement and ownership and that generated new pride and interest in the library itself and literacy studies.

The reading areas that were once barely used can now be found with students and teachers alike enjoying. Some of the materials that were purchased were used to make books’ catalogue cards that have enabled the librarians to keep inventory of the library’s collection and have aided overall organization. There were over 70 students who were involved with decorations and renovations, and then I was able to make announcements during morning assemblies about what was going on and why. Through this, students learned literacy skills such as alphabetizing, categorizing by genre, and it produced a school-wide interest in reading!

I have used the space to do book circles and talks, led lessons on the proper way to use and care for books, and how to effectively search for one in a well-organized library. I was surprised to learn that this was the first time these basic library/literacy skills have been directly instructed. I feel it’s an honor and privilege to be the one to bring this new and important aspect of student life and learning to my school.

The principal, staff, and students alike have commented regularly that the work done here and the result of this project will leave a lasting, positive mark on this school. It makes me proud to know I have created something constructive, new and will leave something important behind. We are all so grateful for having been grated this special opportunity through the Bhutan Canada Foundation.