Teach India – Week 8

If anyone is by any chance actually following my posts you would notice I have skipped “Teach India -Week 7”. This is cause I missed the session as I was tied up with something else…however it was not a teaching session that I missed but a quiz session for the kids so I am not feeling too bad.
I had an interesting session this week and finally got time to talk to other volunteers and made some friends! The sad part is that we would have our next session after a month and a half!! 😦
Overall the program by Kotak Foundation to teach English individually to children is a very nice but I am not sure if it is very effective and the main reason for it is lack of continuity. The program would have been much more effective if we had maintained continuity of talking/teaching them each week.
I don’t know how effective it has been but I have sure had fun and so have the kids!
So what was the session like this week…??

I had three hours of teaching and each hour was different and a new challenges
Session 1

I decided I would make the kids do a play in English. This would be fun and they would learn to talk.
Mom got me some fairy tale books and I decided to use them and make my kids do a play on one of the stories.
We used “The Three Little Pigs” story and had some fun with it. We read the story for sometime, then did the play in Marathi and then did the English version of it. It worked well but not as well as I would have liked it to cause the English levels of the kids was way too below par and it was difficult for them to do it. Also my this batch has 4 girls who are by and large quite shy and reserved.
Overall an interesting session. To end the session we actually went to an empty classroom and enacted the play where no one was looking so the girls did not get to conscious and shy!
Session 2
This batch is always very enthusiastic. This time also I had a big group of about 10 kids who wanted to sit with me and the Kotak volunteers came and picked up all the kids who normally do not sit with and made them go and stand and then allocated them to other volunteers! I finally had my regular group of 5 kids in this session! One of the volunteers asks me… “what do you do!? The kids seem to love you!” 🙂 ( I was obviously quite flattered with her questions!)
Anyways I finally started the session again….with the idea of reading a story and doing a play. So I handed overall the books I had to the kids and told them to decide which story they wanted to read and enact and they choose a Noddybook called “ Bumpy Dog decides to help”
We started…..and the session was going well….we were reading and relating the words and sentences to things in day to day life and saying different versions of the same sentence. Overall the kids seem quite involved and interested.
Suddenly one of the girls says…”Teacher Maaja nahi aa raha…bore ho raha hai” . I was quite taken aback! I though the session was going well and I am normally good at reading the body language of the kids so I wondering how I was so off the mark this time!

I asked the other 4 kids…if they were getting bored and luckily they said no …but I still had a child here who said this was booring! So I had to do something about it…so I asked the kids if we could change the book and let to girl who was getting bored star reading the new story. They hesitantly agreed…

And suddenly this girl started crying!!! I was like oh my god! What is happening here! What did I do!!
All the other kids were looking at each other and looking at me….I kept asking her what happned…with no response. Then one of the kids told me she has lost her Mamaji recently and so she is very upset with that. Now I at least knew the reason…but did not have any clue on what was the best thing to do!
Then One of the kotak volunteers saw her crying and suggested I take her for a walk and talk to her alone and see if she wants to open up..we went out sat on the school steps…spoke for a few minutes, she wiped her tears and said lets go back and sit with the rest of the children.
We did a few more sentences and this girl started crying again. She so wanted to put on a brave font and act happy and not cry but the poor kid was feeling so sad
This is when I told the kids my funda of what I do when I am sad…I told them it is absolutely ok to cry…I do it…everyone does it …it makes you feel better but after you have finished crying you have to smile and act happy and you will automatically feel happy!
After this I decided to take them to and empty classroom and show them how this funda works and to put it in practice
I taught them the song “If you are happy and you know it clap your hands” we sang we danced, we clapped we jumped we hugged, snapped our fingers…and we laughed!
We basically had a nice time….we played “ringa-ringa roses” 🙂 Musical chairs..basically English was out of the window for this session…but we had a blast and the girl was smiling at the end of it and that is what matters!!
I was exhausted…but the kids were all full of energy and could go on jumping some more…luckily the time was up and they had to go home!

Session 3
I was exhausted and my voice was hoarse singing the songs on the top of my voice and dancing!

2/5 kids came in for this session.
I started with my story books and these girls also choose a book to read. We were 10 mins into the session and then the kotak volunteer came and said since we have less students and more volunteers we would all get into a common circle and play something together.
I was quite glad…I had half a mind to put my kids in the circle and let them handle the session and disappear! So I told them go sit in the circle…this didi will tell you what to do and I took a back seat..
Everyone was getting into a circle…there was confusion on what game we should play…what should we do…..Lots of idea’s were thrown around and then someone came up with an idea….let us play a story telling game…..
I though it was the most sensible idea among the others that were floating around…
And somehow from being in the fringes deciding to disappear….i was there in the center…trying to conduct the story telling game with evey person in the circle telling one sentence to take the story forward!
Well eventually we played the “story telling game” the “describe me game” and “the introduce yourself” game with about 30 students and volanteers who were present there!
I think it worked out well…Could it have been better?…yes…could have done better if we were planned…everything that we did was extempore…
I personally quite enjoyed it….I think I love my place in the center of an audience where I have to do something to involve the audience and ensure they have fun! I should really consider something on these lines as profession…I am sure I will excel at it! (Actually I hope other had as much fun as I did…I hope they did)
Pont to Ponder : “Fun & Games” and “People” are two important themes in my life. I need to find a vocation which helps me to merge the two…


Filed under Teach India

10 responses to “Teach India – Week 8

  1. Anand.U

    Bravo on Week 8…Well I gonna suggest you better idea on crisis situation…ensure you hav jogging shoes on…exits path are wide open…all you got to do is run like chicken 🙂 …you seem to be too matured for your age…hats off…hav fun!!!

  2. Kunal

    Nice post..
    I see that u have taken time out for this one..

    About Teach India, I received a mail from them saying that they now have enough volunteers for Chennai, I will be informed in case they require more.. They said their inboxes were flooding with request from Chennai..

    I’ll just have to wait for my turn! I’m happy that people in Chennai are so eager to help 🙂

    Shilpa, A.k.a ‘S’ keep posting, I’m learning a lot of tips and tricks that would not only make children happy, but adults too.. For now I’m happy to be reading this post!

    I’ll be here

  3. HOBO

    I say :
    When someone smile because of you, Charity is done…
    Claps !!!

  4. 'S'

    @anand…well I think this was more acting like a child and playing ringa ringa roses! When have u last done that…? Try it believe me it is fun!

    Yes it took long to write….there was so much to write…got bored at the end of it and did not write too much for the session 3..Long posts are normally booring to read!

    Thanks so much! I checked out your blog…you seemed to have won some award…wht is it?

  5. Anand.U

    Shilpa San…Interesting…I thought all the planets were fond of the ringa ringa roses…well…4me…crying gal…just run…even it means 8800 miles…anytime

    4 Godsake give yourself the well thought break…get away from internet and known faces…hav fun !!!

  6. ambika

    Hello Shilpa,

    Nice to read what you have written. It sure gives you a sense of self-satisfaction, to make others smile and laugh. I like doing it too, but never thought of doing it on a wider scale like Teach India. Good work. keep up!

    As for the 'Fun & games' and 'people' part, what about a career in Recreational Management. There sure is a lot of demand for them specially in the software companies and BPOs. Sounds like your forte. 🙂

  7. 'S'

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my post…! I think it is your first one here…keep reading and keep commenting!

    Do you know anything more about Recreational Management?? Sounds quite intersting!

  8. Anand.U

    Recreation Mgmt … I heard little abt it…sounds more fun…

    Time permits check this link …

    hav fun !!!

  9. ambika

    Well, yes that was my first! I got the link to your blog from Kunal’s Recommendation List.

    I did not know much about Recreational Mgmt though. I read it quite sometime back in the papers. I was doubting if I even have the correct word.

    But, now that you asked me about it, a little more that I found out:-

    Courtsey : Google

    Well, its the job for a Chief Fun Officer (CFO), the very name sounds fun, doesnt it?
    Their duty includes organising weekend outings, and office-parties, fun games, quizzes and things of that sort. These, as they say, shall be helpful to destress the employees from their monotonous work.
    Although the concept is quite new, a few BPOs in Bangalore have hired such professionals who have skills to come up with innovative ideas to help keep the workers in a jovial mood.

    Your words reminded me of this job, and hence the recommendations 🙂

    The site does not allow me to leave a link to my blog 😉


  10. Neha

    hi!!!i just read ur posts.actually im making a project on teach india and so needed some info from u as i can see that u hav been teaching sicne a few days..plz do mail me ur mail id so that i can get in touch with u soon..thanks..

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