Monday, November 24, 2008
After our seminar with the K.V. teachers from all over India, we had to get ready for the Indian wedding we were attending that evening. We went to a salon and had facials, a neck and hand massages, threading, manicures, pedicures, our hair washed, face and scalp massages, and got our hair styled. We also ordered food and they walked to the place to pick it up for us. I'm not going to lie...we were starving and McDonald's was the closest place, so that it where we had them pick up food. We both ate fries and chicken sandwiches. As a side note: It was really interesting how small the portions are here. I would say the sandwich was a little more than half the size of it at home (just to give you an idea). At any given time we would have at least two people working on us or up to five or six people. We were treated like queens and after a day of teaching a seminar, we were happy to have a few moments to relax. I could not believe how inexpensive it was. For all of those services, it only cost us seventy America dollars. In the US all of that would have cost around 600-900 dollars at a salon in the States (and not a hotel salon, just a regular one). That is less than one sixth to one ninth as expensive as home! Geez!
I did get my eyebrows threaded (see what Miss Reynolds wrote about threading in the first post if you don't know what threading it)!! I have to say that while it is interesting how they do they whole process with the floss looking stuff and it pulls the hairs out, I think I prefer regular waxing because it is faster. The quicker is gets done, the quicker the pain goes away, but I had to try it while I was here. :)
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?