We have spent the last three days in the schools. I had two first grade classes and one second grade last, but I worked under one teacher (teachers move classes here, not the students.
My cooperating teacher, Vindhu, and me.
After observing the students for the last three days, I have come to the conclusion that Indian schools and students are really not as different as they are in the U.S.
Things That Are The Same
- Much of the curriculum is aligned. Except cursive. Kindergarteners write cursive. And math… Math is much more advanced.
- Students love videos. And stickers.
- The “teacher look” is universal. Give them the stare, and they will be quiet. On the first day, one of the middle school classes were left unattended. We could hear them yelling down the hall… The prinicipal walked in, gave them “the look,” and there was immediate silence.
- Boys and girls in elementary school will not want to sit by each other. Ew, cooties.
- The students who sit in the back of the room will play with pencils, food, or whatever else they find underneath their desks. In which case the teacher will give “the look” and the student will stop.
- Pencil sharpeners are the absolute coolest things ever. Enough said.
Things That Are Different
- Teachers move classrooms, not students. This is an interesting concept, but leads to some wasted time while the teacher is getting set up and looking for materials.
- Students are much more polite than in U.S. schools. Students say “yes ma’am,” “no ma’am,” “thank you ma’am” “good morning ma’am.” After each class, students stand up and say “thank you ma’am” to the teacher. If a student wants to enter a classroom, they must ask the teacher, “excuse me ma’am, may I come in?” Walking through the hallway, everyone says “good morning.” Wouldn’t that be nice in the U.S.?
- Hallways are outside. Perfect for the hot weather.
- Class sizes are practically double. 40ish students, and they don’t raise their hands. Talk about noisy.
Overall, it was an amazing experience. Here’s some more pictures of the adorable little ones at the school.