This article was submitted by Shruti Sheshadri, a Teach For India Fellow. Shruti handles Grade 2 at the CMS, MMDA Colony-1.
A month. Yes, it has been a month indeed. These 30 days filled with emotions unknown, exasperation on one end and dread on the other. As we look at the smaller picture, anger and frustration boils inside of us, that nature has finally set her wrath upon us. In this profession of teaching, every day matters and every second counts. What should have been a blissful, smooth term 2, with so many creative juices wanting to flow in each of our classrooms, has now become an unexpected reality that we are forced to face. But, now is the time for us to take charge of our classroom and push it higher, to a place that it has never been before.
We are getting constant mailers saying “what are the few things that you should definitely be doing on the first week of school after the floods”, when I look at these mailers, I do want to take a step back and think. Do I need to do these? Shouldn’t we first survey what the needs of our kids are, and then think about ways? Aren’t all our experiences of the flood different? Don’t we have our own stories to tell and our own concerns to raise? We need to give our kids a choice of medium to express themselves.
While many of us, want to talk it out, some of us write it out, others play it out and do so many more things. On the first day of my class, I want my classroom to be conducive where my kids feel at home, each and every one of them. I want to give them a variety of options like games, puzzles, talk, videos, write-ups so that at the end of the day each and every kid has let go of the burden he/she was bearing in the morning.
Some of you may ask, what about portions? Well, I say that it kids would take care of it themselves. When the kid feels eager to come to the school next day, irrespective of the family situation, the learning ability also goes up. I would only start my portions on the second or the third day. The topics that I have covered will only be touched upon during activity period/ game period. The new topics, would include a lot of fun-time and interaction making easier for the kids. Learning stations would surely be a good idea to introduce in your classrooms right now. I do not want to go on about various teaching methods and techniques to be used in the classrooms, there are many resources for those.
All I want to say is, the most important thing right now is not how soon you complete your potions, but it is how you make your kids feel this week.