Teaching and Learning in Rural India

Katie and Charlotte on what it like to teach in a small village in India.

Katie- This last week we got to spend our time working at an all girls school outside a small village. The school provides free schooling for over 500 village girls who would otherwise not get a chance to go to school. Everyday we taught different classes in English and got to play and run around with the girls outside. They would teach us Indian songs and hand games and we sang them American songs and shared dances. Everyday they would come around you, asking questions and sharing their contagious laughter. They had huge smiles on their faces everyday and I feel so lucky to have this amazing experience with these amazing girls!!

Charlotte- picture this: walking into a class of 80 3rd and 4th graders who are anxiously awaiting your arrival. You and your fellow teachers have prepared a few activities for the class and have 1 chalk board to work with. The kids are able to say “hello” and “what is your name” with a few “how are you” here and there but but are otherwise unable to understand anything else you try to communicate through English. Sadly, your Hindi knowledge is little to none, but you are still determined to teach them something. You have an idea to teach them colors by yelling “pink” or “green” and having them run to the corresponding wall, but now the kids are running around a small underground classroom and chaos has ensued. So you decided to switch plans and hand each kid a different color string that you have precut to group them up according to the color of their string. However a problem arises as kids now swarm around you, hiding the string you have already given them, so that they can get another of a different color. You look at the rest of the group and see that everyone else is also overwhelmed, so you take it outside for a breath of fresh air. The kids decide that they would rather play games and you are all silently relieved. So, teaching colors did. It exactly work as planned, but at least your tried, and the kids definitely got their entertainment for the day.