A vision to move forward after the Chennai floods

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This article was submitted by Balaji Alwar, a Teach For India Fellow.  Balaji teaches Grade 6 at the CHS, Saidapet.

It is not often you get rain holidays that match upto the term holidays every year. That’s indeed is the sad state of affairs mother nature has thrown Chennai city into for all the sins mankind has done to exploit her. The term 2 was the one where the consolidation of the classroom procedures happen over the year as students get settled into the classroom environment and develop a finer understanding of content being taught. Since the term is already going to end, it’s high time we teachers come up with innovative measures that could create a transformational impact amongst the students. 

Of course, given that lots and lots of hours have been wasted due to rains, we teachers should utilize every single moment in the classroom to the fullest. My main plan is to track down the kids who have relocated due to floods. The floods have created a monumental impact amongst the minds of kids and many of them still have not recovered from the shock. We should also focus on ensuring that the kids retain the same sense of zealous optimism they should have for every day class. Doing simple jigs like word games, puzzles and rearranging the words, group discussion etc., can ensure that the kids are genuinely glued to the class and retain their sense of inquisitiveness.

I also plan to prioritize one to one talk with kids whenever I have time in order to get a pulse check on how they are feeling and if there’s some emotional turmoil inside them which needs to be lashed out. Community project to clean up the school premises is very much on cards. In order to realize that, we can conduct frequent morning meetings in classrooms where an intense debate to understand what were the problems community faced and what are all the possible solutions that could be implemented for that.

Seminars, where each kid study a subject and present it to the class, are something I feel can push their rigours of understanding. Since, huge unbelievable amount of content will be pushed down the throat of the kids in a very short period of time it’s better to have a revision time. Revision time is the time where the kids will be recollecting the lessons learnt through various means like quizzes, crossword puzzles, memory games, scrabbles, letters to the teacher etc., which will improve student retention.

It is always best recommended to have a wonderful opening for every class one starts. Think of different things that you could do to connect the content to real world things which will show a improved student attention and retention. Creating decorative and informative charts can go a long way in enabling the students to understand the subjects with better rigour. Challenging home works to ensure students just not remain idle at home is highly recommended.

But, the best of all is the vision that needs to be set in the classroom which is going to drive the class in the upcoming months. Set a vision for the classroom and start making students align to the vision. If a student’s behavior is not according to the vision being set then it’s high time his behavior needs to be reprimanded. The fairness of this action can create huge impact in student behavior in class as student realizes that they can reach great heights and achieve amazing stuffs if they align to the vision. This infact is the greatest asset you can have in the classroom.

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