This is a belated blog post because I didn't I have the words I needed yesterday to write about our final day. Last night, as we sat down together as a group one final time and laughed hysterically and shared back moments from our day did it occur to me quite what a feat we had achieved - we had made a difference. And not in a small, inconsequential way - in a real, substantial, I've-affected-people's-lives-f
Yesterday we were showered with love and gratitude - from schools putting on presentations for us - to head teachers coming to personally thank us. It was the most overwhelming experience I have ever had. At Ardshilla Covent School, Suman stood up to thank us, and said 'you came in, with no judgement just to help and I am so happy I've been able to meet you.' I dont think I realized I was crying until I looked over and saw my team all welled up. Before coming out I wondered how much of an effect 10 of us could have - we were tackling an education system, decades old.
What I've learnt is we didnt come out here to effect an educational system, we came to affect individuals, and in turn be hugely affected.
Our Indian team of teachers are extraordinary. I can't say more. They're dedicated and brilliant - seeing them daily is a pleasure, watching them develop was a privilege.
As for my team of 8, Tehrim, Jerson, Paul, Layla, Luke, James, Kate and Meg, I couldn't have more respect for you if I tried. We couldn't have asked for a better team - every single person came out here to be selfless, knowing that after a busy term we were going to ask them to dig deep and give more, and they all did. I was constantly proud watching them together and with their Indian team members and interacting with India. I keep saying it but I am humbled, genuinely humbled. I didn't know people had the proclivity to be so immensely kind and selfless.
Would I recommend coming to India to work with these teachers? I can hand on heart say that no experience will influence you more. As a teacher, a human and a citizen of the world - nothing will ever ground you as much or give you more hope for the future. We gave and in turn we received. We leave New Delhi today, more whole than when we arrived.
The team is now (mostly) heading to Goa for a much needed holiday - and we're looking forward to hanging out more there. We arrived in India as strangers and as cheesy and it sounds we are leaving as friends, and I'm so extremely grateful to be able to call them all my friends.”