Monday, November 24, 2008
K.V. Section 2 Hosts a Seminar for K.V. Teachers from All over India
Today’s seminar featured three main focuses: technology integration into the classroom, interactive games, and strategies for increasing oral and written language through interactive, interpersonal activities. We had a very large group today, but they were enthusiastic, reflective, and motivated to learn new ideas. It was a pleasure to work with this group of people.
As we have been presenting at schools in India, we have learned a great deal about the Indian school system. These insights have made us examine the education system in the United States with emphasis on Arizona’s school system. There are glaring differences, but also similarities. Here are a few of the differences I have learned in my short time working with these amazing individuals: the students have a syllabus that outlines what will be on the state Board exams and it is their responsibility to learn this material. If the teacher is unable to come to school that day, then the students continue working in their syllabi as if the teacher was there. They do not skip a beat and they take their Boards very seriously. There is a severe lack of technology in schools in India. I was shocked by this. I thought I would be walking into a big city with highly powered technology access. I was wrong and it goes to show that I judged a situation too early and this time it did not affect what I was doing, but it has made me aware that next time I could ruin something potentially special if I come in with preconceived notions. (I have given you the short version, but I will elaborate on future posts with Miss Reynolds). Here are some of the similarities: all teaches want to do what is best for their students, we all have to take standardized tests, we all have financial and time issues, we are life long learners and we are dedicated to our profession.
These seminars have not only given Miss Reynolds and myself a chance to analyze our school systems, but also an opportunity to examine our teaching styles, learn new methods, and reflect on our own teaching practices based on the feedback from each other and our guests at the seminars. This has been an eye opening experience because having others help you modify your style is so beneficial to becoming better.
I think the most valuable thing I have gained from these experiences is: kids are kids everywhere and every child deserves a “great” teacher. I am always impressed by the teamwork and genuine appreciation these teachers exhibit at these seminars. I can only hope that these seminars are the jumping off point to a strong overseas friendship that can enhance the learning of all of our students. I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing experience.
QUESTION: IF YOU COULD GIVE A SEMINAR TO THE STUDENTS OR TEACHERS IN INDIA, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO SPEAK ABOUT? HOW IS IT RELEVANT TO INDIAN CULTURE (I.E. WHY DO THEY WANT TO LEARN THIS?), AND WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU POSSESS THAT WOULD MAKE PEOPLE “WANT” TO LISTEN TO YOUR IDEAS?