I have officially been in India for 9 days now and each of these days has been greater than the last. I already feel so at home at DPS-North. The teachers and the students have gone out of their way to make sure Jill, Abby, and I are comfortable. The students are genuinely so excited to see us everyday and it shows through their smiles and thousands of questions. Today I was paired with Kaliyani, a brilliant English teacher. I traveled alongside her to each one of her classes absorbing as much information as possible. She has a way of captivating the children that thoroughly impresses me. Each class I sit next to a student and observe. In a 3rd standard classroom I sat next to a girl named Tara. She was so excited that our names sounded the same and I have to say, so was I. It is not often that you find an Indian name that sounds similar to the all-American “Sarah.”
During my free period I decided to go on a run around the PT (Physical Training) field. There also happened to be a few classes going on at the field during that time. As I was running around I had a few 5th standard girls that wanted to join me. I think they ran beside me for about 20 feet and then they decided running wasn’t for them. After I finished I had a swarm of 5th standard students come up and ask me questions. Some of the questions included, “Ma’am where is it you are from?” “What is your favorite sport?” “Is this your first visit to India?” “Are you from UK?” “What standard are you in?” “Are you liking India ma’am?” I have made many promises to visit classrooms and I can only hope I can keep all of them because there are 6,000 students. That means a lot of classrooms to visit!
I have noticed a lot of differences and also a lot of similarities between American and Indian classrooms. One of the first things I noticed is the immediate respect that Indian children have for their teachers. Another thing I noticed the intense motivation and competitiveness in the Indian students. They all seem genuinely excited to be there. They are all so eager to raise their hand and they all want to be called on first. Something I really love about the teachers here in India is their ability to have patience and listen to every student. In America I feel that a lot of time in the classroom is spent trying to get the students to stop talking and pay attention. In India, the students talk and share their opinion without being told to be quiet as often as they would in America. I think this makes the students feel more respected and therefore they enjoy learning and answering questions in class.
As for exploring Bangalore, our whole group went to visit Lalbagh Botanical Garden this past weekend. We spend a few hours exploring, taking pictures, and taking in the beautiful scenery. One of my favorite parts of Lalbagh was seeing the monkeys. I have been told countless times to stay away from these animals. I have been told they are mean, they steal, and that they might bite. Don’t ask me why but I was feeling a bit fearless on Saturday. So when a man asked me if I wanted to feed one I jumped at the opportunity.
I have been having so much fun and I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring!