By Tanya Joshua Tanya Joshua is a teacher with Make A Difference. She teaches English at the Siga Don Bosco Centre, Kilpauk in Chennai. For a commerce student, Tanya knows a lot more about movies than anything else. She hopes to walk the red carpet someday with George Clooney. Here, she shares how she found her first few months doing, in her words, the best job in the whole world; the job of a MAD teacher!
I’ve been teaching at MAD for about two months now. Just two months, and I’m discovering a part of me that I had no idea existed. I teach at the Don Bosco Centre, Kilpauk, on Sunday mornings. The students at Don Bosco consist of only boys and they are between 15 and 20 years of age. When I first found out that I’d be teaching teenage boys, I admit, I was both disappointed and apprehensive. Disappointed, because I was looking forward to teaching tiny tots, and apprehensive, because I thought that teenage boys would be a handful. But, how wrong I was! Today, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone for the world! The first time we met the students was at an icebreaker session with them. And it turned out to be fantastic! Their excitement, enthusiasm, and innocence touched me. That’s when we realized that these boys really do want to learn English. They’re old enough to be aware of the importance of English in today’s world, and they genuinely want to be taught the language. But only once classes began did I see the child in their hearts. Their innocence shines through. They are attentive and obedient, they answer when spoken to, they call me Ma’am and they ask for permission before they enter the classroom. In short, they’re not what I expected them to be.
Tanya Joshua at a MAD class
Last Sunday, it started raining; the weather got a little chilly. And the boys at Don Bosco, they brought us hot tea and biscuits during the break – a very touching gesture indeed! However, sometimes I do feel that my lack of fluency in Tamil hinders my ability to reach out the kids more effectively. But then, I remind myself that it’s been just two months. All it needs is a little more time, and I’m certain these barriers will no longer exist. Oh, how I love Sunday mornings! The fact that I get to spend the morning teaching eager young minds gives me a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. It’s funny how before I joined MAD, I used to wake up late on weekends. I just hadn’t realized how much valuable time I’d been wasting – the time that I now use to Make A Difference.