Teach India : Week 4

Last Saturday was my 4th week of teaching the children. I took three batches of children instead of the normal two batches! I had a total of 9 children this week.
Batch 1- Soheil and Rupesh
Soheil is a very serious type of a student and says he does not watch television/movies. Rupesh is very quite and shy. Soheil came about half an hour late for the session. Making conversation with Rupesh alone was not too easy. I did a rainy day picture activity with him. The activity was basically to show them a picture and ask them to tell you about everything they see in the picture. This helps to improve their vocabalry
My initial sessions, I kept telling my kiddo’s I am not your teacher and I am a friend who has come to talk to you’ll. This week Soheil got me a friendship band and tied it for me. It was such a cute gesture.
Batch 2- Komal and Rashmi
I had missed my last session with them but the bond was still there. I did the same Rainy day picture activity with them that I did with my earlier batch. The girls then wanted to go for a walk as the rest of their friends who were not a part of this program were having a break at school. So the three of us went for a walk. They introduced me to their friends in school and had a lot of questions to ask me when we were out walking. But all their questions were in Hindi/Marathi and I would tell them I will answer only if they ask me in English! I feel the kids open up so much in an informal setting.

Batch 3- Dipika, Kshitija, Pooja, Namrata, Abijit
This was a fun session! I think 4- 5 kids who are at the same level are fun to deal with at the same time. They get the personal attention and yet there is scope for having fun on the table! We revised what we did in the last session and then went on to do other activities.
There was only one boy in this group, who is normally not a part of this group so we had a nice time pulling his leg. I even got to know about their class politics!
For the first time I gave these kids some homework….I have told them to write at least one thing in a day for which they do not know the English word and when we meet after 15 days, they were to come back with all the words they have written! Lets see if it words.
Another thing that I did with these kids was that I told them to write all the new words we are learning. Their recall was better if they have written the words.
Will write more latter! Overall an interesting, fun and fulfilling session!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Teach India : Week 4

  1. Vicks

    Hi Shilpa, This is Vikrant staying at Panvel. I come to know about you from Divay Makkad (Delhi), I need your help as I want to join some good NGO like prayas, Could you please help me in that case, I wanted to work for street kids OR something for Poor ppl in my side, if possible..What excatly you ppl are doing and how you manage to work, Could you please mail me at Vikrant.ranade@lehman.com, I am waiting for your reply….Thnx…

  2. Shiva

    Hi Shilpa..

    Nice to read your blog and it made me an impressive thought in my mind to join Teach India iniative. Could meet you all people soon.

    Kudos!!!!

  3. Anand.U

    Awesome …Good work …
    Let’s storm a bit out on your thoughts…
    What does televison/movies brings to people lives?
    Was it any different with new batch on the same rainy day activity?
    how did fun behavior helped their learning aspect?

    Thoughts are colors in life ,keep the painting going on….hav fun !!!

  4. Shilpa

    Hi Vikrant,

    You can get in touch an NGO depending on where you stay…let me know your area and I can help you to get in touch with a Rotaract Club there.

    Shiva..
    Thanks for your encouraging comments! Hope you become a part of the teach India Program soon!

    Anand,
    Your comments are always an interesting to read. Although the picture in the activity was the same for all the kids…the responses I got very different responses…so it was fun…I can maybe wite details on each of the session…will maybe do that sometime latter.

  5. Anand.U

    I am glad I could be of some help.Well I hope a activist and disciplinarian like you will always put all the findings for a good cause. hav fun !!!

  6. JesseAlred

    please read the third paragraph I don’ think many people in India have this information, but I may be wrong.

     I am a veteran teacher in Houston seeking a dialogue with Teach for America teachers nationally regarding policy positions taken by former Teach for American staffers who have become leaders in school district administrations and on school boards. I first became aware of a pattern when an ex-TFA staffer, now a school board member for Houston ISD, recommended improving student performance by firing teachers whose students did poorly on standardized tests. Then the same board member led opposition to allowing us to select, by majority vote, a single union to represent us.

    Having won school board elections in several cities, and securing the Washington D.C Superintendent’s job for Michelle Rhee, Wendy Kopp’s friends are pursuing an approach to school reform based on a false premise: that teachers, not student habits, nor lack of parent commitment or social inequality, is the main cause of sub-par academic performance. The TFA reform agenda appeals to big corporations who see our public institutions as inefficient leeches. This keeps big money flowing into TFA coffers.

    The corporate-TFA nexus began when Union Carbide initially sponsored Wendy Kopp’s efforts to create Teach for America. A few years before, Union Carbide’s negligence had caused the worst industrial accident in history, in Bhopal, India. The number of casualties was as large as 100,000, and Union Carbide did everything possible to minimize its responsibility at the time it embraced Ms. Kopp. TFA recently started Teach for India. Are Teach for India enrollees aware of the TFA/Union Carbide connection?

    When TFA encountered a financial crisis, Ms. Kopp  nearly went to work for the Edison Project, and was all but saved by their managerial assistance. The Edison Project sought to replace public schools with for-profit corporate schools funded by our tax money. Ms. Kopp’s husband, Richard Barth, was an Edison executive before taking over as CEO of KIPP’s national foundation, where he has sought to decertify its New York City unions.

    In 2000, two brilliant TFA alumni, the founders of KIPP Academy, joined the Bush’s at the Republican National Convention in 2000. This was pivotal cover for Bush, since as Governor he had no genuine educational achievements, and he needed the education issue to campaign as a moderate and reach out to the female vote. KIPP charter schools provide a quality education, but they start with families committed to education. They claim to be improving public schools by offering competition in the education market-place, but they take the best and leave the rest.

    D.C. Superintendent Michelle Rhee’s school reform recipe includes three ingredients: close schools rather than improve them; fire teachers rather than inspire them; and sprinkle on a lot of hype. On the cover of Time, she sternly gripped a broom, which she presumably was using to sweep away the trash, which presumably represented my urban teacher colleagues. The image insulted people who take the toughest jobs in education.

    TFA teachers do great work, but when TFA’s leadership argue that schools, and not inequality and bad habits, are the cause of the achievement gap, they are not only wrong, they feed the forces that prevent the social change we need to grow and sustain our middle class.. Our society has failed schools by permitting the middle class to shrink. It’s not the other way around. Economic inequality and insecurity produces ineffective public schools. It’s not the other way around.

    Ms. Kopp claims TFA carries the civil rights torch for today, but Martin Luther King was the voice of unions on strike, not the other way around. His last book, Where do we go from here?, argued for some measure of wealth distribution, because opportunity would never be enough in a survival of the fittest society to allow most of the under-privileged to enter the middle class.
    Your hard work as a TFA teacher gives TFA executives credibility. It’s not the other way around. Your hard work every day in the classrooms gives them the platform to espouse their peculiar one-sided prescriptions for school improvement. I would like a dialogue about what I have written here with TFA teachers. My e-mail is JesseAlred@yahoo.com.

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