Monday, May 11, 2009

Delayed yet there

Perhaps the only interesting thing in my life these days is the weekends... when we teach kids. Hence, probably more than necessary posts will be dedicated to the same. We 3 girls teach 4 girls basics of Hindi, English and Maths. They do not go to school and obviously lack the motivation at home to study. We try as much as our impatient and lazy selves allow to teach them.

But somehow, no kid prefers study to fun. I know for sure my brother and I would have turned into road side ruffians had it not been for my parents. And if that is not there, it is difficult to retain interest in studies. We are thinking about bribing them with chocolates to study :)

One of them is quite young and its a delight hearing her "one tu thlee... " Its fun when she and her teacher fight over whether the alphabet she wrote is beautiful or not and should she repeat that. But at the same time, its not easy to have attention of a five year old. Yesterday after 90 minutes of repeating "A B C", one of my friend suddenly stood up and said, I cant do this. I could understand her plight quite well. Its not easy not shouting, not scolding and yet not giving up when all you say falls on some uninterested young ears.

I was almost on the verge of crying after repeating "Na, Na main EE ki matra NEE" countless number of times and hearing "Na, Na main EE ki matra EE" another countless number of times. I didnot know what I was doing wrong or how could I make her understand that. There must be something I could do. Something to hold her attention longer than 25.5 seconds, long enough to know basics of language!!!

Two of them are almost of the same age and one is faster at learning things than the other one. Today I overheard a conversation where the faster one said with a sigh, "She is so slow and what do I do". Immediately the other one lost whatsoever interest she had in those books, claiming that she is not fast enough and can never learn. I could say that the other one is a bit elder and hence a bit faster. But I guess, thats not the case when you have 40 kids in a class almost all of the same age.

I understand we are not professional teachers and perhaps a formal degree can teach you a lot. But I still believe it takes a lot of patience, dedication and understanding to teach a batch of kids in school. To be able to find that one troubled soul in a shouting and impatient lot, not to kill innocent questions by a lost temper, to channelise the competition in a healthy direction, to maintain interest in books. I know I have never been hit at school and I can not claim to be an ideal student. It must have been difficult controlling your anger sometimes. So heres a delayed thank you to my nursery and KG teacher, Apte ma'm... Thanks for teaching me "One, tu, thlee and A, B, C and Aa, Aaa, ee..." :)

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