You may be wondering about the words in the title. They mean sit sit and write in Kannada. These are the key words and some of the few words that Katie and I know how to communicate with the school children. We are working with some of the children at the School which is actually right below our apartment. Even if we didn’t have to wake up at 6:20 am the drums and children would wake us up at 9:30 :).
The school system is very different here than in the US. The schools at least in this part of India require that the children wear uniforms. Girls wear green plaid skirts and boys wear jeans or shorts (they are secretly Marshall fans). It’s also more military style. Each morning ,the children assemble in the courtyard where they are lined up by grade and according to height. Also, boys and girls are in separate lines.
The assembly starts with the children reciting the Lord’s prayer, although most of the children are Hindu. Then the children sing the national anthem followed by the “band” playing as they march into classes. All of the children are very respectful, however who knows what they are really saying to us haha. This school goes from LKG (lower kindergarten through 10th standard). The classes at our school are extremely large especially for the small classroom sizes and only one teacher per standard. In some classes there are up to 50-60 students per class.
I have been working with the second standard students with anyone that is behind. Here in India they don’t hold the children back and don’t really have a special education program. Also, with the large class sizes there is no individual attention. The language barrier makes it difficult to tell the children what we want them to do, but we make do. I have been trying to help the children learn their ABCs and numbers better. It is astonishing how much the children’s knowledge varies jn one standard. I had two groups of children today. The first group had difficulty with the multiplication chart and some did not know how to write their letters or numbers. The next group knew the multiplication chart and was able to spell words. In the school systems over here it is all about repetition. Handwriting is one of the marks of how intelligent you are. Most of the work is copy writing homework multiple times.
Katie- I have been working with the 1st standard students! Just like in the US , the students are adorable but ornery . Here in India , they are labeled as smart or “dull”. I have been working with the students to learn ABCs and how to count . The kids are really making improvements , we have almost mastered the alphabet and counting to 30. This may seem like an easy accomplishment , but in India they teach the kids three languages and none of these students that I have been teaching speak English, so I’m very proud of them.
Also in India , different signs mean different things. For example ,raising your pinky means you have to go to the bathroom. Today for example , one of my 1st graders did this motion and I motioned him to go on. We were upstairs , the bathroom was downstairs, so he just ran to the side and giggled . When I was telling ,the other kids “ba” or come on , he was standing there laughing. Judging by what he was pointing at , and trying telling me he either went to the bathroom in the slide or in the washing machine. Kids are so funny.
Another one of our duties is to help the center kids with tuitions aka homework after school. I have made a special connection with a little girl named Gagana. She is a girl a labeled as a dull student, some even label her as crazy. She is a littler slower than the other students, and she has some learning needs. In India , learning disabilities or special classes for slower learners are nonexistent. Although working with her to write simple sentences , the alphabet, even writing on the lines is challenging, it is definitely rewarding. She is not a typical fourth grader but she teaches me lessons when I’m supposed to be teaching her. The biggest lesson or reminder she has taught me is more and more about how in different ways we all have a special need . That need is fulfilled by Christ.
For any teachers out there that may be reading our blog, if you have helpful tips on how to help students write on the lines or write words in general, please shoot them our way.