The students at Magnolia have at least one activity period a day where they can move and get their energy out. Dance, yoga and exercises are some of the choices. The ones I have enjoyed most, strangely enough, have involved sports!
Last week and this week I was able to go with my fifth graders down to their PE class. First up was attempting cricket! Now at first it seemed like baseball with funky shaped bats. But wow it’s much more complicated! And having all the rules shouted at you by about 20 different 5th graders did not help my confusion, unfortunately. They finally handed me the bat, stepped back to a reasonable distance and….I missed. It took me a few more tries before I hit it and somehow managed to hit it so that I got an automatic 4 runs. Or something like that, I’m still not entirely sure about how the rules work to be honest. After successfully getting another run it was time to switch sides and I managed to miraculously catch a ball before it was time to return inside. I could definitely see myself playing cricket again in the future although I would like to understand it a little better before playing a real game.
This week for PE I attempted football, or soccer, with my 5th graders and let me tell you, these kids are amazing! The way they handled the ball and ran back and forth on the field was immensely impressive and it was obvious that they had grown up watching others play football. Obviously I am not athletic by any means but I got in there as best I could! Playing a fast paced, high intensity game under the hot Indian sun (which was a surprise because it’s usually either cloudy or raining this time of year) was a work out to say the least and everyone was throughly exhausted when we headed back inside. Surprisingly enough I really enjoyed playing football too and wouldn’t mind playing it in the future, although for now I think I will just stick to playing with my 5th graders.
Every Monday Saumya leads a Girl Guides class for 6th, 7th, and 8th standard. I was in Girl Scouts when I was in primary school and I was very eager to see the differences between the two. Glancing in their books it struck me how similar both groups were. We both learn about the history and founders of our respective organizations, the Girl Guides/Scout law and promise. We both go to camp, earn badges, and wear a uniform. For the class the girls usually wrote notes or played games and this time they taught me a game that was similar to another Indian sport called Kabaddi. In return I taught them one of my favorite games from camp, Ships and Sailors, and needless to say they loved it! With a promise to return again next week with another new game, we returned to class.
I really enjoyed playing and interacting more with the students besides just being a teacher. I think it makes closer bonds with them and students tend to look at you more as a friend or ally. One thing is for certain, I will definitely be back next week to see what other sports I can attempt!