After five days, I can say with certainty that India has far surpassed my expectations. I had a picture in my head of how it would be in Bangalore and being here in reality is so far from what I could’ve imagined. India is sensory overload, in the best way possible. The colors, the sounds, the smells, truly I have been so enthralled by just experiencing India. I’ve realized this country is so invested and proud of their culture, it makes it so much more magnetic to be a part of.
As if I wasn’t in love with India enough before, I had my first day of school today at AECS Magnolia Maaruti Public School. I don’t think I have experienced a warmer reception, between the gracious staff and friendly students, I can already tell I have a second home at this school. The children were full of questions and stories, I could easily have spent the whole day conversing with them and learning everything about their lives. I tried to learn the student’s names and they would giggle at my mispronunciations. When I told the students my name, they would also giggle. Only later was I informed by a third grade student that this was because my name sounds like banana in Hindi, to which I was dubbed “Banana Ma’am”, a nickname I thoroughly enjoy. The day carried on and I was able to experience multiple different classroom environments in different grades and subjects. One constant between the different teachers and classrooms I observed was the way the teacher carried themselves. I was impressed by the rapport they had with their students. These teachers so effortlessly were able to balance being nurturing and having fun with their students, while also maintaining a well-disciplined classroom. For me, this was fascinating to watch and I aspire to have even half of their classroom management skills one day.
Overall, my first day left me feeling welcome, motivated and very excited to come back. I already dread the day that I will no longer hear “ma’am ma’am ma’am” everywhere I turn.