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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thursday June 3rd - Concluded

Teaching is always fun. But will I get the chance to build some kind of relationship with these kids? I have 12 different classes each week and I only see them for one hour. Is that enough for me to make a difference to them, if I’m leaving in 6 weeks time? My main reason to do this teaching, is to make a difference. But in this school, I don’t know if I can. What I’m trained to do, is so insignificant when considering the vastness of their education. I want to give so much more and I love being in the school environment and I love being in front of a class. So soon, after only a few days of teaching, I don’t feel like I can make a proper contribution. I know I have so much more to give but here everything is in restraint.

The schedules are from 06.30 am until 09.00 pm and everything is set in order, from mealtimes, prayer times, study times, homework times. We have a few free hours in the afternoon, but they are also to be monitored and questioned. I know that’s the way it has to be in boarding schools. But I don’t even feel comfortable to interact with the kids in the corridors or in the canteen. I feel wary to just be me and to smile and laugh. I cannot express myself or chat in general because of the language barrier and the camera monitoring. The teachers have to be so disciplined with the kids, it’s almost sickening. And this is where I don’t fit in, because I’m not at all strict! I cannot be harsh, for no good reason. But it’s what is expected of the teachers.

Indian teachers all have a “air” around them when they walk around the school. Outside the school it isn’t visible. But in the school, they become different people. They walk with their heads in the air, with a stern look on their faces, showing strength, authority and discipline. That’s not me! I’m not even considering being like that. No way! I don’t want to become rude or harsh or blind to how great these kids are, who have become so controlled and conditioned due to the environment they are in. If I could, I would get all these students to come of their shell and encourage them to be as they feel. I would want them to rebel against being put into boxes and restricted so much. I’m so not cut out to be a teacher in a school where they encourage such discipline. And it’s the main difference between the school in Kayamkulam and this school. In my first school the kids are so free and they are exactly how they want to be. Okay, this means it’s a lot harder on the teachers to do their job properly, as I’ve already realized when comparing the classes in both schools. But for the kids it’s better and isn’t that the main thing? I think so..

I’m not too sure if this is just a moment of doubt. Maybe the next days will prove to be fine. But I’m just wondering if this is how I want to spend my last 6 weeks in India? This is the question I'm faced with, when I'm alone and I cannot escape my thoughts or feelings or I cannot be distracted by other events. Do I quit, do I give up? Or do I stick it out? Do I rise to the challenge to discover what it could give me? Or do I follow my heart and see my questioning where I am to be the sign telling me to leave? I cannot know. Not just yet. I have to still take each day as it comes..

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