Friday, November 21, 2008
All over the school, there are inspirational quotes and sayings. Some are from the staff, others, the students, and the remaining from famous people. I love the Teacher's Motto. It is student focused and inclusive all of the students. The positivity shines through the school. The posters are not just put up for looks, you can tell that the students and the staff really believe in each other and their progress as life long learners.
While Miss Reynolds and I were not teaching, we spent a good deal of time grading the students Boards exams. It was very intense and we had to do it all by hand. I am thankful for the technology we have.
QUESTION: WHAT DO ANY OF THESE QUOTES MAKE YOU THINK OF? HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU READ THESE QUOTES? CAN YOU COMPARE OR CONTRAST YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH THE STUDENTS OR TEACHERS IN INDIA?
Today was our first day at Miss Reynold's KV school. We had the wonderful opportunity to interact with the students. They were excited to meet me and they ADORE Miss Reynolds. I have never been more aware of how different I was until experiencing my travels in India. Everywhere I went, people looked at me curiously because seeing Americans is very rare, especially at the schools. All students greet teachers and stand when they enter rooms. I w
as greeted all day with, "Good morning 'mam?" and "How are you doing today 'mam?"
I was prepared with my Indian attire, but everyone liked that I was dressed differently and had a hairstyle that none of them did. I was completely accepted for who I was and still considered a part of their "family." That was a very powerful realization I had during this trip. For a group of people who are so different from me, not wanting me to change, but loving me for my differences really made an impact on me.
Today I had a chance to teach interactive lessons to students. I taught them how to do our celebration dances we use in class, like the "We're an awesome team, yes we are, and don't you know it!" I also taught them different ways to cheer for each other when someone earns success. We did the different types of applauses and gestures (Ch Ch...Wow). The students loved these activities and it completely change the learning environment to a classroom community. After the students were comfortable being risk takers and supporting each other, I began to teach them different games to review language and literacy skills. The students were very comfortable playing these games and were excited to participate. We even got the teachers involved. We also taught the students common games in America such as Simon Says to have them practice listening and interpreting English with connecting it to body movements. We were asked to come back tomorrow and teach math and English lessons. This was an enriching teaching experience and I am so honored to have been a part of it and to help teachers that need more ideas, support, and access to information and materials.
The school is laid out on a beautiful piece of land. It is like being in a modified jungle. When we first drove up, I saw wild monkeys, dogs, cows, squirrels, and a peacock ran across our path, which is a sign of good luck. It is very green and the students take great pride in their gardens and natural ways to preserve the environment. I was very impressed with how the students could articulate their involvement in keeping the campus "alive."
They playground equipment needs to be updated, but the students, and Miss Reynolds, has a positive attitude about getting outside and being active. It was wonderful to see students playing together from all different ages.
This community of learners is very proud of their hands-on projects and they post bulletin boards to show their students' work. We were fortunate enough to have students give us a tour and present their work to us. This was a valuable activity because the students were sharing pieces they were proud of and practicing their English simultaneously.
The environment is very different from ours, so it was almost surreal being on campus with the students.