Goodbye DPS-N!

This post is coming a little late because it has been a crazy hectic last couple of days in India. Thursday was our last day of school in Bangalore and when I said goodbye to DPS-N. It started off just like any other day and it wasn’t until the end of the day when Jill, Sarah, and I were drinking coffee in Manju ma’m’s office (the principal) with Geeta ma’m (the primary school’s vice principal) and Sowmya ma’m that it hit me we were leaving. To say it was hard to say goodbye is an understatement. Over the course of the last 6 weeks I have grown so close with the students, teachers, and staff and it was hard to imagine I may never see many of them again. DPS-N has become my home, where I have grown immensely as an educator and a person. I hope that I will be able to visit the school and all the amazing people sometime soon again. I wrote a thank you note to the DPS-N students, teachers, and staff about my amazing experience these past 6 weeks. I’ve attached it below.

Thursday evening we had a group reflection and a celebratory dinner. We also had our Bollywood dance performance for the dance we had been learning. A dance instructor had come to teach us the dance at Casa for a few days after school to teach Jill, Sarah, Chrissy, Kacy, Laura, and I. It was so fun! Mehar ma’m, Suniti ma’m, Sowmya ma’m, and Rena ma’m (the vice principal of the high school) surprised Jill, Sarah, and I by coming to watch our dance performance and to the celebratory dinner. It was nice to be able to spend more time with them and share all of our groups experiences with them over the last 6 weeks. The food was so delicious, a good last Indian meal. There were a few tears shed after dinner but we comforted ourselves by saying it wasn’t goodbye, but until next time (as they say in Indian culture). I do believe wholeheartedly I will see them again, whether that will be in India or the United States. I know it is not goodbye forever.

 

August 4th, 2016
Dear DPS-North Students, Teachers, and Staff,

Before I left for India, I was really nervous. I had recently been accepted into Phase II of the Elementary Education Program and I was worried that I would not be prepared to student teach. I was also nervous to be in an entirely different culture and worried I would not feel accepted. However, my worries quickly vanished as the DPS-North staff and students welcomed me with open arms. Not only am I not nervous or worried anymore, thanks to DPS-N I feel like I have a purpose and a home in Bangalore. I cannot express how grateful I am to all of you for welcoming Sarah, Jill, and I into your home at DPS-North. In the past 6 weeks, I have felt so welcomed, appreciated, and loved. I have met so many friendly faces and had many unforgettable experiences. I have learned so much about myself and what it means to be a great educator. Thank you for the amazing experience, I feel truly at home here.

DPS-N continues to amaze me every day. With over 6000 students and 30 acres, the school is massive! But because of the closeness and kindness of everyone, it does not feel that way at all. You are all a family. Each student, teacher, and staff member is so proud of DPS-N (as you should be) and it is very admirable. I amazed by the passion of the students. In each class when ma’m asks the class a question, hands shoot up and students wave them feverishly begging for the ma’m to call on them. Students are eager to learn and to dive deeper into the curriculum as well. I had the pleasure of observing the mock UN conference and the students participating in the conference were so impressive! It was evident that they spent countless hours researching and preparing to know their position perfectly. I hope to encourage even half their enthusiasm and passion with my future students. I attended a fifth standard debate and the Say No to Facebook assembly. I loved how both of these events were student-led and I was amazed by the grace and confidence of these students. They stood on stage in front of their peers and teachers arguing their positions on whether “Time not spent in studies is wasted” and why children under the age of 13 should “Say no to Facebook” and other social media sites. Even in the first standard English class I observed, the teacher had students talk about themselves in front of their classmates to encourage talking in front of others. As a 20 year old, I still struggle with public speaking in large groups and these students did it with such ease. I am so impressed with how passionate, talented, graceful, and confident DPS-N students are! I am amazed by the teachers as well. Teachers at DPS-N have the perfect balance of nurture and authority in their classrooms. They have such close relationships with students and I hope to achieve that in my future classroom as well. I love how each day the staff comes to school with a smile on their face. I can tell that they actually want to be at school despite what might be going on in their personal lives. They take care of every individual and make guests feel welcomed. DPS-N is one of a kind place.

I will miss so much about DPS-N when I am back at home. I will miss Chandarakantha and Masala chai tea breaks in Geeta ma’m’s office. I will miss 1st and 2nd standard yoga with Shivitsala. I will miss Dahl and Belgium chocolate ice cream in the canteen. I will miss students saying good morning ma’m when I walk into a classroom. I will miss Mehar ma’m and helping her teach classes 2K, 1B, 1F, and 1I. I will miss Reya, Zoya, Saaraah, and all the smiling faces of the students. And Indria ma’m, Sudha ma’m, Suniti ma’m, Ayesha ma’m, Deepa ma’m, and many other teachers.

Thank you class 2A and Aparna ma’m for allowing me to teach my first lesson. Thank you Mehar ma’m for being my role model and sister across the world. You are an amazing teacher and I have learned so much from you! Chandarakantha thank you for taking care of Jill, Sarah, and I for these past 6 weeks. We love you! Thank you Geeta ma’m for all the hugs and smiles, I will miss you so much! Sowmya, thank you for being our Indian mom. You have taken us in as your own for the past 6 weeks and made sure we had the best possible experience. We love you so much! You are our family and I know I will see you soon again. And lastly, thank you to Manju ma’m! Thank you for making this internship possible. And thank you for taking time out of your schedule to make sure Jill, Sarah, and I see everything DPS-N and India has to offer. You are an amazing leader and role model to all females in education! You inspire me!

This has been the best experience, one I will remember for the rest of my life! Thank you again to all of the DPS-N students and staff! I hope to return the hospitality one day, if you are ever in the USA near St. Louis, MO please contact me! Saying goodbye to DPS-N is really hard, I am not ready to leave! I feel very privileged to have spent these past 6 weeks with you in DPS-N and in the crazy colorful city of Bangalore I now call my second home. Please keep in touch.

Until next time and namaste,
Abby Jozwiakowski

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