An unexpected, unforgettable moment while teaching — at the outset it seemed like a strenuous thing to think about, that would require Herculean effort to pen down. But now that I really sit down and give it a serious thought, dozens of images keep popping in my head. It’s actually a trying task to zero in on that one ‘best experience’ that takes the cherry as well as the cake. I must admit, at the beginning itself, that I failed miserably in choosing the penultimate, singular experience. As a resultant effect, I’ll be sharing a couple of such experiences, which first flashed across my memory board.
Last year, sometime in August, I was taking Global studies for Neutrons class (grade 3). As such, I always had to take a diluted version of the contents for them, in comparison to my other grade 3 section, the Protons. During a class on various waterbodies, they swept me off the floor, by their understanding. I had just walked into the class, when i noticed few of them working intently on something using their notebooks, pencilboxes and Atlases. Having my curiosity aroused, I took a closer look and found that they were using all these objects to come up with a model of a bay. I was pleasantly surprised to see the practical demonstration of their understanding, as mostly I did not use to get a clear idea about their understanding, as these kids were never really good at verbally demonstrating the same. I prodded them to continue making more such models and they kept surprising me with beautiful, correct miniature models. That day, was a huge learning for me too. Firstly, I realized I had been underestimating my kids’ potential all this while.
Another experience that flashed almost simultaneously across my mind, was of another GS class which I took for Protons. It was a flipped class, wherein I had asked my children to read about soil formation and come up with a role play on the same. Being a completely bland, if I may say so, geographical topic, my expectations were quite minimal. But I was in for a surprise, and what a surprise it was. Their script would have given famed screenplay writers a run for their money! I still look back on that day and wonder how grade three children could have spiced up something as mundane as ‘soil formation’ into a full-fledged commercial drama. Via their role play, they took me on a thrilling adventure with twists and turns, which was full of drama, scientists, time machines, rallies, protests, nowhere letting go of the geographical terms or the accuracy of the project. As I happen to teach them English too, I was on cloud nine, seeing my kids integrate both my subjects seamlessly and beautifully, when it was least expected. My joy knew no bound. Yes, the class was chaotic; yes we goofed up with the props. But who cares!! My children were learning, teaching, enjoying, excelling and breaking expectations -all at the same time. Yes, I won’t forget that blissfully, chaotic day for years to come.
– Anita Jai