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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 is  that the kids have started understanding the concepts  of    

        i)  ” Having a goal “ .
        ii)  Techniques of Malleable intelligence, 
        iii)   Identifying relation of  " putting in   hard & smart work   to   “achievement “

 The magnanimity of small bits of    “ THE CHANGE “  is quiet satisfying  .  

I guess it is a  fair bit of  success,  to be celebrated

 The Challenges

Some of the students have been really challenging. I would like to write about   two 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   which   was the biggest problem   . 

>> It is almost   very surprising that one of the kids was almost at pre k level .

>>one  kid  has  a single parent and he is a single child , it was  uniquely  unfair to have high expectations from him given the fact that he spent  six hours(after school )  at home all by himself all  alone .

>>   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” was  affecting a great deal .

Group 1 :   Typically they were kids who were smart , result oriented , but the matter of concern with them was  they would  “refuse “ to adapt to the  different approach to learn .

 Learning without understanding, Memorizing facts , Parroting them , practicing by repeated writing would  leave 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 find  much 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 meals  etc are some of the positives of the system .i am sure this helps lot of the parents to actually  send 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 the  traditional methods  . They could perhaps  be bit more flexible in the terms of “finishing  the book “ A little bit of innovation and  involovement would really work wonders  with the  student achievement .

Learning from principal and other teachers

Principal /other teachers are  source of immense experience .They have been doing the job from so many years .They definitely have been source  of  great support in terms of class room management and  realizing the difficult back grounds from which these students come from .

Students’ community

  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, basic  health care awareness. .The Importance of education and realization that  a  good education could actually mean an end to the woes , is real low .Performance  expectations and the resultant  academic  successes have therefore been real low . Lastly I would say the kids are really “brave “ when they are showing so much  willingness to learn and promish to improve , inspite of the hardship they are in .

 Personal Transformation

 I believe that  the  basic beliefs of a adult  person remain same  through out his / her  life .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 ones  due 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 a  means to explore and stretch myself  beyond straight , hard task master , deadline , delivery man as I have been throughout  25 years of my existence ....

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