Well, it’s been a little over a week in Bangalore and here are some things I’ve noticed: I love being called ma’am, no one wears sunglasses, and Uber is best.
We’ve spent a couple of days in the school and I love every single moment. I just got into the second phase of the Mizzou Elementary Education program so being in a classroom is completely foreign to me. On the first day, I met my host teacher, Sukara, and went into her 4th standard English class. The room was immediately filled with “ma’am”s and I attempted to find an empty seat. The children were fascinated by the mysterious presence in the classroom that was me. I sat in the back of the classroom and observed the teaching style on this specific class. During the short break, students surrounded my desk and asked me about anything under the sun. They now know my favorite sport, subject, color, fruit, country and anything else you can imagine. About a million questions and 40 “autographs” later, the first day was over.
Based on my own experience in a classroom, I imagined school days to be long and drawn out. Much to my surprise, the school days go by quickly. I was eager to head back to the school. On Friday, there was an assembly to usher in new officers. In Delhi Public School Bangalore East, the students are divided into houses. I equate it to the Harry Potter franchise. There are leaders for each house as well as other elected officers throughout the grade. If you think student council is only for high schoolers, think again. I watched as children as young as kindergarteners were labeled “head girls” and “head boys”. The principal gently reminded the students that having a position doesn’t give them the right to be mean or order. Instead, it means to be nice, friendly, respectful, and represent the school to the best of your ability.
The rest of the day resulted in English and science classes. In between a class, a young girl came up to me and asked for help with her written English. This is amazing to me that a young girl is comfortable enough with me to ask for help. That shows tremendous determination. In the weeks to come, I cannot wait to help this girl to the best of my ability.
On Saturday, the group went on a peaceful stroll through Lal Bagh, a botanical garden . This was when we realized us American were the only ones wearing sunglasses. Lal Bagh was incredibly beautiful; it is a beautiful piece of Eden in the bustling city. At one point we even got to feed some monkeys.
The week is done and we’re headed back to another full week of school. I’m excited to see the children after the weekend and begin to interact in the classroom in a more professional setting.