Pure Randomness!

Pure Randomness!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yohan sharing his experience

For the End Of Year showcase I asked my students to share their experience, in training for and performing drama on stage for the Annual Day function. I asked them to prepare for it and come and tell me the next day. Yohan told me that he wanted to do it right away and doesn't need any preparation. He just went in front of the class and spoke, starting from the time when he failed in 4th std last year and I coming to teach them. He went on for 4minutes without stopping even once. At the end of it I just couldn't control my tears and I hugged him.
Next day he wrote and brought me this speech. I am reproducing it with just one change where I have replaced pronouns 'they' and 'them' with 'she' and her, since he has told me that he will never make a mistake in that again.

"Hellow, I am Yohan. I am from Vth, I like my didi very much. My teacher name is Subhadra. If we say teacher to Subhadra didi, she don't like. Because we are talling her didi, When I was in IVth std, I was very veek, now she make me smart. Now I can talk in English and read English. I am so Happy becaus I got very didi. She tot everything very nies. Now she is teaching to V, VI, VI. She is from Banglore. And she is talking in English very nice. Some student make cry to her. Didi brought gifts last year, and brought this year also. Didi was computer ingeneer. Didi tought how to do Drama. And tought Dielock in English.
THAnKYou Didi And all My friends."

I might be able to find a sample of his writing from last year to compare. I am so happy to see that he has improved so much from that time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shahid, please come back

When you start teaching a bunch of 5th, 6th and 7th standard students, one thing you wont imagine is that you will be teaching 16 and 17 year olds also. Once you realise that, you still wont imagine how big they are and what they are capable of, because in your eyes they are still kids studying in upper primary school.
Shahid came across as different from the rest of the students in 7th standard. One, he was the one who was struggling the most to speak in English, two, he was the most invested in speaking in English. He would come everyday with new words for which he wanted to know the English word and would write them down and sometimes write the Hindi pronunciation also so that he can go home and practice. When I started my drama classes, in the screening workshop, he acted out the lion's part in the Lion and Mouse story. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I almost saw the mane of the lion when he did that. I looked forward to him being taking a good role in the drama and thereby improving his English faster. But he had to go away to his village since his father was visiting from abroad and missed out on the opportunity.
He was one of those students whom I got to trust me enough for them to tell and ask me anything, or so I thought. Once he asked me, after I got a little frustrated since he was getting the question tags wrong after I taught him that for the 10th time, "Didi, I listen to a song for 2-3 times and I can remember that and sing that, but you teach me grammar hundreds of times and I still forget". I have my theories on that and we had a discussion over that in our extra class.
He brought his girl friends' snap and showed that to me. A kid who can hardly speak grammatically correct English, he called her his soul mate. He never stopped surprising me. But somehow he kept making me believe that he trusted me enough to tell me anything.
In the English test for subject-verb agreement, I gave the sentence "This dog _______ everyday" with the verb 'run' to fill in the blanks. I was shocked to see the 'f' word at the place of runs in his paper. I decided to talk to him the next day during extra class. The next day I gave them the Math test and he came and asked me whether I can excuse him from the test that day as he was having a bad headache. I told him to write as much as he can and he could lie down after that and I will give the paper again to him the next day to finish. That day I left early from school as my laryngitis was bad and I lost my voice. I couldn't talk to him. The next day I took an off as I was sick still.
The day after, I reached school and the first thing I hear is that, Shahid has run away from home. He left school the day he had the headache, went home, packed his bag and just left. His classmates didn't have much idea as to what has happened. But they told me that he was talking about his grandparents, with whom he was staying, harassing him and also that he was talking about poison. I scolded myself for not talking to him the previous day, instead of asking to write the test. Though when think now I know that it would not have changed anything. Still, since I got the feeling that something was not right that day, I berated myself for not taking any action.
I didn't know what to do. I called up his uncle's number everyday, but that mobile was always not reachable. I checked everyday with his classmates to see if he has contacted one of them. After a week Angad told me that Shahid has reached one of his uncle's house somewhere in MP. I felt so relieved I hugged Angad for telling me that.
I had trusted his street smart ways, but still believed even a well built 16year old like him would not be safe out there in streets of this bad world. He is one of my show case results of what some dedicated hard work from the teacher and student, can do. But it looks like he is not going to come back. At least from what the other kids have heard from him, he is joining some school where ever he is currently.
Thank you Shahid, for not taking the wrong decision (it gives a chill up my spine when I think about the options you have thought about) and taking care of yourself and making yourself reach your uncle's place safely.
On second thoughts, I still want you to come back. I have another 6 weeks for us to work together.
Shahid, please come back.