If anything stands out in my mind about Delhi, it is the traffic.
It wasn’t too bad as we set out for our two school sites first thing in the morning. I’m becoming used to the blaring horns, the near misses between vehicles and the sight of people, even small children living on median strips.
Our school visits were really beneficial. We came to know the classes that we were working with much better as we observed, interacted with the students and did a spot of team teaching.
This time was well spent, as we were able to use our observations together with the ‘I wonder’ statements, formulated the day before, to co-plan with our classroom teacher.
The ‘I wonder’ statements were around teacher modeling, increased student talk, use of co- constructed anchor charts, higher order thinking and students being in control of their own learning using learning intentions and success criteria.
My teacher buddy Sarah (@MissBejain) and I had worked out a rough plan for how we could use ‘Hide and Seek’ by Anthony Browne as a stimulus for vocabulary development, student talk and writing. This meant that when we met with our Year 5 class teacher, we had a plan of action to discuss with her.
Our Learning Intention encapsulated the ‘I wonders’ we had both had about increased student talk and how to use this to move them towards using richer language in their own speaking and writing.
Our class teacher read the text and we asked her how she would teach it. We discussed the pros and cons of different teaching methods and adapted our plans to suit the students, the classroom environment, the content and the teacher herself.
Our time was up, and we all went away with our homework ready for the next day.
The rest of the day included plans to visit the stationery shop, having lunch at a vegetarian restaurant and finally visiting the Sanjay colony for an educational walking tour.
This is all easily said, but, with Delhi traffic it is not easily done! When we finally reached the shopping area where we were to shop and eat the bus dropped us off on the other side of the road- a six lane main road. We took our lives in our hands and crossed en masse between buses, cars, tuk tuks and motor cycles.
The stationery store was a teacher’s delight. It had everything we needed to prepare for our lessons and everything was so very very cheap. It was down some stairs and around to the right. We could never have found it on our own.
Once all our purchasing was done, we again set off at our brisk tour guides’ pace to the authentic southern Indian restaurant around the corner.
We feasted on delicious briyani, lentil soup, dosa and a variety of chutneys, it was so good.
After this the real fun with the traffic began. Our bus had to plough it’s way through peak hour traffic to pick us up. We could see it long before it reached us. The going was very slow and noisy! Have I mentioned the constant honking of horns?
We were on our way to one of the poorer settlements or ‘slum’ areas, the Sanjay colony. The present chief minister made and kept promises to provide them with free fresh water, free education and money towards books and uniforms. Our guides for this tour had grown up here and they were currently attending University. Although the area is poor, it is not without hope.
The message that we took away was that education was the key to escaping poverty.
We felt privileged to witness amazing progress and developments in education taking place for these beautiful resilient people.
The day ended with collaboratively preparing our lessons for the next day. Sarah and I sat in the restaurant with books and papers all over the table. The waiters were most obliging and found small spaces to place our food. We are feeling more and more at home in this colourful culture-filled city.