22 June, 2011

My teacher heart is happy

We are now visiting schools. We visited the school in Kudugal. About 25 students total for grades 1-5 or “standards” 1-5. When we arrived they were excited to see us it seemed and they all introduced themselves one at a time, “My name is ____ 5th standard.” There was only one fourth standard boy, he quickly became one of my favorites :)

They did many rhymes and songs for us. We tried to teach them “Row row row your boat” and they taught us a song about Ganesha...the God that has an elephant head.

We saw where food was prepared, it seems they feed their students for only pennies a day. They eat rice and sambar every day. After lunch Prashanth worked on some addition, subtraction, multiplication with the kids and Tony played with the younger ones :) I helped and observed Prash, just taking in the students way of learning, and how Prash was teaching. When the students add, they make tallies for all the numbers and then count them all. Prash tried to teach them a better way.

At one point during the day, we gave the students our cameras and video cameras. They instantaneously became obsessed. It was so cute to see them all so infatuated with filming each other and taking each other's pictures. Most pictures are all close ups of eyes or up their noses, it's funny.

Soon after we were preparing to leave Kudugal, some of Prashanth's relatives saw us off with some snacks and drink. As we were leaving they put the red blessing dot of power on my forehead, and yellow turmeric powder along side my ear to my neck. I loved it, I kept it on all day.

We then had a long car ride to Mysore. We were invited to eat dinner at another one of Prashanth's relatives and even though it was 10 o'clock at night, we could not say no. I am glad we didn't. The food was so good....dosas :) Spicy, but maybe I am getting used to it?? Maybe not. They were so very kind to me giving me bindis and even a saree as a gift. They called me into the other room where three women wrapped the saree around me, I felt so special to have all these women taking me in and treating me like family. The saree is the most amazing saree and I cannot wait to wear it.

The next morning we went to the Mysore school. Standards 1-10 and in some classes as many as 50 students. Boys on one side of the classroom, girls on the other. I took particular note of the 8th standard, as that is what I teach. There were 46 students. I couldn't believe it. And they were all sitting politely and respectfully for us..as I am sure they are all the time. Prashanth decided to teach a lesson to the 10th standard students. It was a lesson on Area of a Circle. Why the formula is pi times radius squared. It was a great lesson, Prash had the kids drawing using protracters and compases, cutting out the pieces of the circle we made etc. A very hands on activity. The kids all took part and enjoyed it. I was just so happy I could help.

After the lesson, I had the teacher translate to the students the gift I was giving them. I gave them rulers and on the rulers were Hawaiian words and the word translated to English. The teacher went over the words with them and the students read back the words to us. One student asked what an island was, I tried to explain Hawaii, but I don't know how well I did. I also gave them pencils and when I was done passing things out they all said, “Mahalo!” It was so awesome! They kept saying mahalo to me over and over. I left them with an “aloha!” and a shaka. They all said aloha back and gave me one shaka!

My teacher heart was so happy that day.

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