India – Week 3: School life

India – Week 3: School life

After a 10 day festival/holiday here, school started back last Monday for term 2.

We had originally agreed with the headmaster before school began that we would spend the week observing classes only and then after that perhaps start teaching some English and Maths. But only an hour in to the school week, we found ourselves in a class multiple times with a room of students and no teacher. So we had to put our teaching hats on!

Every day the whole school does 5 minutes of meditation before classes begin

We acted as teacher for roughly 5 classes during the week over 3 days of English and Maths and even some Social studies. And observed classes for the rest of the time over those 3 full school days. We noticed that even though the school is branded and has the goal to be an English medium school, there is very minimal confidence or knowledge of English spoken by the teachers, except for what is written in the textbooks for the students. Therefore we offered and set up some English classes for the teachers to participate in to also improve themselves with English.

Kirra teaching third grade Maths

In the last week we have had two English classes with the teachers, the first was a few games to practice the conversational English that they already knew, then we progressed to a lesson of theory to building sentences. Though there was mixed motivation and engagement before we began the classes, the outcome of the classes that we noticed so far is positive. And we (Maurice and I) are now really motivated for the following few weeks to continue supporting the teachers as much as we can with their growth, as well as helping in classes with the students. Maurice thinks he has found his calling being in the classroom and helping the students, so we may never make it back at this rate!

Maurice preparing our first English lesson with the school teachers

Nothing ever goes to plan here. It’s a fact, not a judgement. But it’s actually been a really nice learning curve for the both of us about how we deal with that here and to contribute to our own personal growth. I can’t help but compare sometimes how it would be if these actions happened back home in the Netherlands or Australia. If someone told you that you were leaving at 7am for a trip… you would wake up early to be ready to leave at that time, but then you don’t actually leave until 3pm.. here it’s just shrugged off with a small laugh because silly you for being ready at 7am. But anywhere else, there would be a range of frustrations expressed in both words and actions and maybe you would’ve even found another form of transport to leave closer to 7am than 8 hours later…

For this next week, we are off to visit some more SEDS projects (biogas cooking), shopping to buy a sari for me and a suit type dress for Maurice, since we have been invited to a wedding in 2 weeks and we’ll look at some Rotary projects in another town 1.5 hours away from here. It always feels like we have so much time here as we are both somewhat unemployed currently, but the days and the hours are flying by!

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