She (third from right) made a place in millions of heart, she not only taught for the sake of teaching but wanted to inculcate all her knowledge in these budding kids. She went through a journey of happiness and achievements.
In the midst of a Pharmaceutics lecture, to rally our waning interest our student dean announced, “There is a new internship opportunity. Teach India, English for employability,” he read from a huge yellow poster, “a CSR initiative by The Times of India. To be held in college after hours and a great way to help others.” he expounded, further explaining that we were supposed to teach spoken English skills to the students and non-teaching staff, whoever desires.
Ever since I joined my college, back in 2011, I had seen that many students were not as proficient while speaking in English. My college had a divergent crowd, those who could speak well were very fluent and those who couldn’t; they just avoided speaking in English. Since the medium of teaching was English, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to utilize my skills, bridge a gap and leave an indelible mark on my college’s canvas.
That very day I applied for the internship. And I believe it is a measure of how much I wanted it that I got selected for the autumn cycle (Aug 2014 – Feb 2015) after a telephonic interview and GD.
With immense excitement and a little nervousness, I reached the place where our training was to begin. Our trainer Chitra ma’am is a woman like no other. I couldn’t have wished for a better trainer. She patiently introduced us to the world of a student-centred classroom. Using engaging conversation and rejuvenating energizers, she trained us from 9 a.m. in the morning till 6 p.m. in the evening. The exceptional pedagogical help provided to us was incredibly thorough and detailed.
Our trainer used the student-centered approach to teaching us and it was indeed wonderful. It made me a believer. I am convinced that this is the best way to conduct classes and to teach. She trained us not to be teachers but facilitators.
Mingling with fellow trainees and made friends for life. I will always attribute the upbeat and positive atmosphere of our class to our trainer. Those were the very best 6 days! Now, imprinted on my memory. After many micro-teaching, advice, suggestions and good wishes, I began the second stage of my internship – Becoming a teacher.
Teaching my students has been an extremely enriching experience for me. I have become more patient. I will forever cherish that feeling of goodness and warmth that would surround me after every class. My students were like blossoming flowers. They came to me slightly timid and shy and went with bolstered self-confidence and better English speaking skills. Oh! How they glowed when they spoke a few lines fluently. I am very proud of their accomplishment.
To know that I have changed someone’s life, no matter in how insignificant a way, makes me humble and fills me with gladness.
The third stage of my internship was community mobilization. I was chosen the leader of the west zone and I confess I had a fabulous time – coordinating everything, going right to the community, spreading information, convincing them to join our cause and learn.
Two members of our group and I, wrote down a jingle, which we all sang at the top of our voices, drawing people from their homes and making kids start dancing around us.
I was amazed to see how many grandmothers were in favour of allowing their grandchildren- male and female, to join Teach India and learn this global language. These very old aunties would then graciously offer me tea and biscuits, which I would regretfully decline. But the gesture warmed the very depths of my heart and renewed my determination to proceed.
It would be remiss of me if I do not give credit to the competition between our fellow groups that motivated me constantly to do my very best.
Teach India for me, has not been a mere internship. It has not been just an experience. It has been a journey of lows and highs, of competitiveness and camaraderie, of sorrows and happiness, impatience and gratefulness. And that sweet, sweet satisfaction that comes when you are tired to the T, and know that a good job has been done. A good karma earned.
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