Teaching us to teach better…

Originally written by Aniket Kolarkar.

We all grew up cribbing about school. Yes, most of us did. At some point of time, there was always a moment when we resented the thought of attending hours and hours of classes. We all scored marks, cleared exams, but the qualms always remained. Just like most of us, I enjoyed school only because of my friends, education was just a supplement (or so it seemed back in those days, when we were kids)

Today, when I’m no longer a school kid, but have in fact turned into a teacher who has to impart education to my MAD kids, I feel sympathy towards teachers for the very first time. Now that I’m in their shoes, I appreciate their patience (especially with kids  like me..) and the crucial role they played in our lives– carving, chiselling and polishing us, so we could shine on. I remember my first MAD class, where I entered, confused, unknowing and slightly apprehensive, and then I remember last week – The Teacher Training for all MAD Mumbai volunteers.

Yes, day had come to prepare ourselves for a teacher’s role, so we could give our kids only the very best of us as teachers. May 29th and 30th – the blessed days for us volunteers to be trained. And yes, all the gruelling efforts and scary (!) reminders from the core team ensured more than 80 % attendance for the event, which was held at the NMIMS Building.

Day 1 started at 11 am, with small activities which showed us how we could communicate better and eventually teach kids through simple and quick activities. For each activity the participants were divided into groups. It was through such activities, simple and important messages were conveyed –  interactions in a class (Student – teacher / Teacher – Student / Student – Student / Student – Group), roles of a teacher (included a brainstorming session on teacher’s roles).

Having introduced the concept of teaching in the first half, the trainers – Chrisie and Himanshu got down to business by giving tips on classroom management based on issues faced by the volunteers (faced during their earlier teaching experience through MAD). Based on these inputs, the trainers also gave important tips on making classes more effective. Other topics covered during the session were improving Instruction Checking Quotient (ICQ), Gestures, and, difference between Errors and mistakes.

Day 2 saw individual groups of participants conducting teaching sessions for 30 minutes each. Each group was given a topic to teach, with others taking on the role of our  MAD kids, thanks to which, we got to replay our notorious childhoods, all over again (it was indeed fun!!!). Each teaching session was followed by a feedback session by other group members. Towards end of day two, the judges (Trainers) evaluated each group based on their agenda (Lesson plan), classroom management skills, ICQ, gestures, consistency in usage of English, etc.

The teacher training might have stopped at the end of those two days, but I know and so does every MADdie – every new child we teach, every new class we take is a training in itself.

MAD Mumbai is set to take on 2010 -11, another MaD, MaD year…

It is now, as the famous Pink Floyd song goes – Us and them…

P.S – MAD Mumbai is very thankful and appreciative of our trainers – Chrisie and Himanshu, who made the teacher training a great experience for all of us.

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