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Monday, December 7, 2009
Six Months -reflections from manual diary :)
SIX MONTHS @TFI Fellowship
I have a reasonably sized class, One most important fact which has emerged in past six months of teaching isthat the kids have started understanding the concepts of
i)” Having a goal “ .
ii)Techniques of Malleable intelligence,
iii)Identifying relation of " putting inhard & smart workto“achievement “
The magnanimity of small bits of “ THE CHANGE “is quiet satisfying .
I guess it is afair bit ofsuccess, to be celebrated
Some of the students have been really challenging. I would like to write abouttwo examples from opposite ends of the "skill spectrum "
My class is having students from Extremely Slow learner to Super duper intelligent brats !;)
Group 4:Typically these students would be Slow learners, shortest attention span, issues at home ,constant attention seekers . It was a real challenge to get across them!!More than their learning ability it was constant need of paying individual attention whichwas the biggest problem.
>> It is almostvery surprising that one of the kids was almost at pre k level .
>>onekidhasa single parent and he is a single child , it wasuniquelyunfair to have high expectations from him given the fact that he spentsix hours(after school )at home all by himself allalone .
>>Another kid , who seemed quiet interested in class , showed almost no improvement in academics or behavior ,I was to find out later that “lot of joint family fights” wasaffecting a great deal .
Group 1 :Typically they were kids who were smart , result oriented , but the matter of concern with them wasthey would“refuse “ to adapt to thedifferent approach to learn .
Learning without understanding, Memorizing facts , Parroting them , practicing by repeated writing wouldleave you puzzled .
>> One kid actually refused to Independent Practice sheet , saying, “ he does not get time after home tuitions to do the same .
>>A sub group of kids actually had a habit of taking the : independent sheets their “ home tutors “ or “ parents” to get them solved !!
>> Some kids would be unwilling to learn new methods to do things , for example , when addition by carry over was being taught to them , they would not do through ones –tens – hundreds , even after repeated requests J
School & School System
This might sound a bit cliché , but I on a personal level do not findmuch issues with school system . They are doing a fairly decent job in terms of students investment and “giving it all “
>> Free books , notebooks , school bags , midday meals , nominal mealsetc are some of the positives of the system .i am sure this helps lot of the parents to actuallysend their kid sto school (In the context of social and economic background they come from )
>> Even the teachers from the PMC board seem to be trying their best of course the "interests levels and apathy sometimes do bother you :)
However Scope of improvement always exists . On part of teachers they could really try to teach more concept based learning than form thetraditional methods . They could perhapsbe bit more flexible in the terms of “finishingthe book “ A little bit of innovation andinvolovement would really work wonderswith thestudent achievement .
Learning from principal and other teachers
Principal /other teachers aresource of immense experience .They have been doing the job from so many years .They definitely have been sourceofgreat support in terms of class room management andrealizing the difficult back grounds from which these students come from .
Oh this has been a real eye opener in terms “what we understand “ and what it actually is !!Student’s communities are real challenging places in terms of sanitation, basichealth care awareness. .The Importance of education and realization thatagood education could actually mean an end to the woes , is real low .Performanceexpectations and the resultantacademicsuccesses have therefore been real low . Lastly I would say the kids are really “brave “ when they are showing so muchwillingness to learn and promish to improve , inspite of the hardship they are in .
I believe that thebasic beliefs of a adultperson remain samethrough out his / herlife .The sensibilities ,sensitivity and the personal ethos are integral part of human psychic .The things which change are methods , routes and the intensity .Exactly the same has happened to me in last six months.
Relationships may have seen a bit up and down, with parents and near and dear onesdue to the decision of joining TFI . However I do realize the magnamity of the task we are doing. It has always struck me how important it is for us to do this . The core beliefs have been reinforced .I am pretty more convinced to do this.
The little changes like “ newly acquired skills“to draw pictures/pencil drawings““ writing a poem “ or “ sing a song “ for the kids have been personal highs ;-> . I consider these things as ameans to explore and stretch myselfbeyond straight , hard task master , deadline , delivery man as I have been throughout25 years of my existence ....