It is always good to know that your students understand what you are teaching them and why are you teaching them. But the best feeling comes when you see those teachings come alive.
However, those are very rare moments and I am lucky to notice one of them today.
I teach a class of 87 kids, which is divided into two sections. Section A which has higher order kids, who are gradually becoming independent learners and free thinkers whereas, Section B has lower order kids who are learning to articulate as well as gearing up to change the way they used to see the world, accepting the truth and working hard for the hope that they have. Both the classes are divided into 4 color groups, namely: red, blue, yellow, and green.
I reward them with marks on the basis of their daily participation in various class activities, showing of values, hard work etc. and the scores are matched at the end of the month.
Last month Section B, Red group students scored the highest and as a token of appreciation I bought each kid of the group a sketch pen set.
Today, I was teaching them about how to write a paragraph in an engaging manner? After I was done with the teaching I gave them 15 minutes to form their own paragraphs but as usual they made a lot of grammatical mistakes and were confused with which sentence to write where.
So, at the end I started forming a paragraph on the board by taking input from the kids and eventually we came up with a wonderful paragraph on ‘Cruelty to animals’. After I finished writing I told the kids,” Look how beautifully we came up with a paragraph in just 10 minutes, thanks to all of you for doing such wonderful teamwork! Can we clap for ourselves?”. The entire class burst into applauds and the kids were trying to find out their contribution in the paragraph and boasting about it to the peers. Next class was supposed to be taken by Tamil Teacher ‘ Vijaya Mam’ but as she was on Teacher Training, I could continue with the class. I was about to start with the Reading Exercise, ” All right, come back in 5..4…3…2..1.Now we are going to do pop corn read….”. “Miss, color page not done miss..”, called out Deepan from the last second bench, “Oops! I did not notice that page”, actually I had, but I was aware of the fact that they had just 10 minutes remaining, moreover none of them had colors with them.
“How many of you have colors with you?”. 10 hands raised up enthusiastically, the ones who belonged to red group. “We don’t have an ough colors, can we do this in next class, I will try to arrange the colors from the staff room?”. I wished they would accept the offer and start the reading exercise, but kids are kids, they are totally unpredictable. “We will share miss” came an unexpected reply from Dinesh.
“Fine then let’s start coloring but make sure you show me your best results.”
“OK Miss… ” was the chorus.
What I saw after a few minutes was something worth a praise..
The class was silent..’Pin Drop Silence’.
I saw 10 open sketch pen sets and one crayon set which one of them had run and brought from the staff room. Without disturbing each other they were borrowing the colors and keeping them back after use. The kids, who were unable to reach any colors they started shading the images and kids near them silently teaching them how to shade better with the use of fingers.
One of them colored the tiger in saffron white and green on enquiring he said, ” Miss national animal miss”. The other colored an elephant Pink,” Miss elephants look beautiful in Pink”.
After they had finished coloring they were praising each other’s sheets.
I realised that my kids are slowly growing up.. growing up to be the change they want to see in the world.