Category: Sam – The Teacher

Max, our dark Prince 

Max, our handsome black labrador who was eleven and a half years old crossed to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge on 28 November, 2016. We miss him like crazy and it hasn’t yet fully sunk in.

There is no way we can make the pain go away, but we need to move on and learn to live with the beautiful memories. Every person has a different way of dealing with loss and sadness. I like to put my thoughts on paper. It helps me get things out of my system.

So here’s what I did..

If memories could bring us closer, if tears could bridge the gap

I’d cross the oceans to see you, in warm wet hugs we’d wrap

I opened my eyes to reality, to warm wet tears instead

The pain in my heart was real, as the voices in my head

Echoed, “No teary goodbyes were exchanged, no words of farewell spoken,

Would it have made it easier, if we had that chance?” I’m torn!

If I knew t’was the last time, that you’d look into my eyes

I’d have cradled your head upon my lap, stayed by you as you lay.

Were you in pain that fateful night, when the big brown clock struck three?

Sadly I’ll never know, would I? If you’d reached out to me.

With every breath you took you filled, my heart with so much love

You took a piece of my heart with you, the piece that belonged to you.

The Digestion Song

So this is a revision lesson with my Year 8s where students come up with a creative resource to revise what we had learned so far. What we were learning was Life Processes in Animals. One student came up with this poem on Digestion that I thought was absolutely fantastic!! So I had to share it 🙂 Here goes…

156813

Through the teeth, through the gums

Watch out belly, here it comes.

Down your throat, into your tummy

I love this food, its so yummy.

Mixed in saliva, into a ball

Into the oesophagus, so tiny and small.

Into the stomach, where it’s tossed and turned

If you throw up, it will definitely burn.

In a long thin tube, food is absorbed

The small intestine is what it’s called.

Waste is stored in the rectum, we’re nearly done

Then the waste comes out your bum

 

 

Importance of breakfast for School Children

You might ask what prompted me to write this post?  I have a story behind it. During one of my physics classes as part of internship, I had to teach my kids about energy. In order to make the class more interactive, I started by asking what they had eaten for breakfast. My idea was to take the thread from there and link it to food and energy. As I began asking a few of them, I realized that not many had actually eaten breakfast, which came to me as a surprise. As children, my brother and I used to leave for school at 6.30 am and I don’t remember ever skipping breakfast. Well, skipping it was never an option provided to us by our mother 😉 , which in hindsight was a good thing.

Many people underestimate the importance of breakfast. It is said to be the most important meal of the day for a reason. But we see kids and adults around us skipping breakfast for a variety of reasons, from lack of time to cutting down calories to no appetite. After 8 to 12 hours of no food during sleep, it is important to break the fast and refuel the body to prepare it for the rest of the day. A healthy breakfast has a positive impact on energy levels and brain functioning, which is very important for school children. Their developing brains and growing bodies need the regular intake of food. It has been found that kids who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier throughout the day. A hungry child on the other hand may end up snacking on ‘junk food’ such as chips and cookies.

Breakfast gives children the energy they need for the rest of their day, to handle the physical and intellectual activities. It helps them concentrate better on learning and remembering stuff as well as playing. There have been times in class when kids complain about headache or tummy ache, and the first question we ask them as teachers is if they have had their breakfast. 7 out of 10 times, the answer is no. Staying hungry for such long periods of time deprives their body of the nutrition it needs making them more irritable, tired and restless.

As parents, it might be difficult to coax children to have their breakfast, particularly if it is not a habit. Bringing in some variety and creativity into the meal can make it more interesting. For children who say they aren’t hungry in the morning or are in a rush, healthy on-the-go alternatives could be a piece of fruit and milk, or a healthy smoothie.

A calm and healthy breakfast every day helps children get into good habits that they can carry through life. Remember, it is always better to wake up 10 minutes earlier than to skip breakfast!

This is a beautiful ad I saw by Amul about the harsh reality of modern Indian families. Take a look..

My First Day at School !

During my school days, I had always complained about not being able to celebrate my birthday in school as my birthday always fell on a holiday.  Ironically, I started off as a school teacher on the day of my birthday. Yes, my first day at school was on my birthday. I was nervous and excited. It could either be a great day or a total disaster. I had spent the last few days cutting and coloring and cleaning to set the class up for my kids. It was a big day, a big transition not only for me but also for them. They were leaping from primary to secondary school. Yes it is a big thing ! I was was waiting for them in the classroom to welcome them with a smile on my face and open arms (this one, not literally).

DSCN4528

And yes, it was one of the best days ! I found an immediate connection with my kids. I know I fell in love with them the minute they stepped into the class. Day 1 was meant only to give out instructions and to bond with the students. And I think we did that perfectly. And that was when I knew for sure that I had made the right decision when I changed my line of work. I was reminded of a saying by Steve Jobs which went like this. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Beautiful thought, isn’t it?  This was the beginning of my beautiful journey as a teacher to some amazing kids who gave more meaning to my life !

My Valedictory Speech on “officially” becoming a Teacher

As a student with an Engineering background and my choice of career after completing my B Tech in Computer Science and working for a couple of years in the IT field I’ve been told is not a conventional one. Nevertheless to all those people who ask me about it, I tell them there has not been a single moment this entire year when I have regretted taking this decision.

549837_550968791587626_1452785877_n

Every time we complained about the course and the amount of work that was being piled upon us, our teachers reminded us that we would in fact miss the whole busy atmosphere when we reach the end of the course. Now I know that they were right. That I would in fact miss even the trivial things that I never thought I would miss. Today, I feel that the University nurtures a generation of students with a certain culture that gets imbibed in them and remains with them in their years to come.

Teaching has always been a passion for me, something I knew I wanted to do at some point. What held me back all this time was my stage fear, fear and self consciousness of having to stand in front of an audience. And well, that’s precisely what I’m doing right now. At this point, I would also like to thank my teachers for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of significant events during the year. For this and a lot more, I am forever indebted to the University, my teachers here and my fellow students who have helped me overcome my fear. Today I know I can confidently stand in front of an audience and that I actually enjoy it.

Unlike many technical professions, teaching and B Ed is not just about studying a list of prescribed subjects and having the necessary knowledge. It is also about having the skill to communicate that knowledge to the target group in a way that they are able to comprehend it. And believe me, this is not as easy as it sounds. In the course of this year we have been given so many opportunities, some voluntary and some forced upon us (of course for our own good), along with constructive feedback from peers and teachers that has really trained us and helped us improve and gain more confidence. This is what is called experimental learning. I don’t think any of us need others to tell us of the tremendous improvement that has come upon us, all thanks to the expert guidance and numerous opportunities given to us.

Again, unlike in many other streams and courses ours is a diverse and versatile group. We have people from different backgrounds, age groups, interests and strengths. I bet each of us got to learn a ton of new things, and I don’t mean only academic, just by interacting with each other. Hats off to all the married women and mothers who have shuffled so efficiently between their household chores and college work.

I still remember the words I was told on the day of my interview when they warned me that this was going to be a crash course and asked me if I was up for it. When I said a yes, never had I imagined in my wildest dreams that this was what they meant. The course has kept us on the tip of our toes throughout the year, with assignments, activities, programs, presentations and of course exams. It has taught us to work hard, not just work hard but also work smart. It has taught us to manage time effectively. Assignments and presentations which we never thought was possible to complete within the allotted time have been completed successfully. The course has been a perfect balance of curricular and co-curricular, theory and practical activities. It was more of a training for real life. It has equipped us with skills and abilities much needed to face the little brats and to train and sharpen their young shrewd minds to help build a generation of leaders and responsible citizens. This in itself is a huge responsibility as these kids would be the future of our country and the progress and development of our nation would depend largely on them. For this reason, it is important that we teachers train them, not just academically but also instill moral and ethical values in them. One of the ways of doing this is by being role models ourselves. I have learned this from our teachers who have been perfect examples and have indeed found their spots in our hearts. We, as teachers must put these examples of our teachers and the values imbibed in us in our daily lives and spread these values on to others.

For many of us, a full time course like this might have been something we are doing after a considerable gap. It might have been a few years since we last went to college, did assignments and wrote exams. Sitting for 3 hour exams and writing page after page after all this time might have been a task. Come to think of it, it’s not just exams. It might also have been the first time after a long gap that we had a sports day, went for a class trip, had to stand for assembly and had culturals in which we all participated. In short we let ourselves loose and freaked out the way we had done years ago. Weren’t we all reminded of our good old school days?

Before I conclude, I would also like to say that I, honestly have come a long way this year and have seen growth both personally and professionally. There are a lot of people amongst us here today who have a major hand in it. I take this opportunity to thank each one of you, teachers and colleagues alike. For everything I have learned, achieved and imbibed, I sincerely thank the University and each one of you. In the last one year, I have relived my school days, learned to let go off my fears and apprehensions and had fun, learned that it is alright to make mistakes and learn from them, learned to prioritize things and manage time. Most of all, I have understood the importance of giving back to the society what I get from it. And in the years to follow, that is what I intend to do. Thank you one and all for all this and more!

11 year old Entrepreneurs

Children these days are more focused and ambitious than ever before. Everyone these days wants to start a business of their own and do something big. As part of teaching and training children to be successful entrepreneurs, Grade 6 students of my school are part of a major entrepreneurship project, which is a stepwise project where the kids get hands-on experience about starting a business venture of their own.

1. The programme starts with the kids forming groups of five or six among themselves and distributing different roles. They brainstorm as a group and come up with a product that they wish to manufacture and sell.

2. Once the product is fixed upon, they list out the raw materials that would be required for the same. The teachers are merely guides and look upon the process leaving the decision making to the children.

3. Once the raw materials are decided, each group member does a market research to find out the best prices for their raw materials.

4. They do the costing, estimate profits and finally make a presentation in front of their venture capitalists – their parents, explaining to them about their product, costing and the profits with the help of slides and advertisements strategies.

5. Once the parents are convinced, they lend the required money to the children which is used by them to manufacture their products.

6. The programme finally culminates with a Market Day where these products are sold by the children using different marketing strategies and offers.

7. At the end of it, the money borrowed from parents is returned to them and the profits collected goes to charity.

Truly a noble way of nurturing future entrepreneurs, don’t you think??

images (1) Kids-handmade-jewelry-12-pcs-lot-cute-children-warp-charm-bracelets-little-beads-mix-color-design SONY DSC