Day 1 – Sun. 15th Feb
So here we are finally in India. After a smooth flight of around 8 hours and approximately 4 movies later we arrive in Delhi. So far the downer has been the length of time it took us to get through immigration almost 2 hours.
The journey to the hotel was not as bad as I thought however there is no such thing as road rules. Even though it was the very early hours of the morning, everyone just weaves in and out without a care in the world.
After sleeping for a few hours from 8-11.30, we had lunch at 12, then a training briefs with the teachers and Alison in preparation for tomorrow, then went off to a market. It was crazy – everyone wanting you to buy something and insisting you do. After the market, we went to Akshardham, an amazing Swaminarayan temple in Delhi. It was breathtaking! Back to the hotel with dinner at 7.30, and it’s an early night for everyone.
Day 2 – Mon. 16th Feb
Today was our first day of lesson observing, mentoring and training. After an early rise with Alison kindly knocking on everyone’s door to make sure we were awake, we had breakfast and then got ready to leave. The taxis arrived on time to take us to our first school, Children Happy; however, our taxi driver didn’t exactly know how to get to our first school and the journey was an interesting stop start, ask how to get there experience.
After finally arriving we were greeted by the head of the school and teachers. Lesson observations went very well and the children almost seemed used to having us in their lessons. The training session which followed was very good with a lot of teachers attending. After a very long journey stuck in traffic coming back to our hotel and a few near misses with the tuk tuks, we managed to get back in one piece and went straight into our debriefing. The Impact teachers are so motivated and passionate and are happy to see evidence of our previous trip being implemented by their mentees.
Day 3 – Tue. 17th Feb
Today schools were closed in India as it was the festival of Maha Shivaratri. Our start was not so early and we had a little sleep in until 7am as opposed to our 6am wake up. We started the day with a visit to the beautiful peaceful and serene Lotus Temple. After this we went to the Humayun Tombs. We also managed to squeeze in an extra shopping trip of an amazing shop to buy saris! Our afternoon still consisted of our teacher training session and mentoring 1:1s which was based on behaviour management techniques. So far the training sessions have been really fantastic and extremely engaging.
Day 4 – Wed. 18th Feb
Today was back to our early start with a wake up call again from Alison at 6am. I went to see a different selection our our schools and was quite surprised with my earlier weeks’ visits. Some class sizes were smaller and also had Teaching Assistants in the classrooms at one school working with a few children with special educational needs. The principals, teachers and children were all so welcoming and you could already see the implementation of the training sessions so far within their lessons. The journeys between the schools today have been interesting. Lots of horn honking and a few near misses with us even brave enough to cross an infamous Delhi street to get to our taxi! Overall – another excellent day with lots of positive feedback from our Impact teachers.
Day 5 – Thu. 19th Feb
Today was another productive day. We are almost at the end of our training and mentoring and there is visible evidence in the teacher observations. I sat in and observed 2 brilliant lessons with a grin of happiness and interest in both. We were also involved in a presentation assembly at one of the schools, Vivek Modern, where the whole group was asked to present certificates to children for achieving over 30 smilies J (a behaviour management technique). It was lovely; the children were so happy and overjoyed with excitement. Our driver today was not feeling well and despite a temperature of 104 degrees he showed great dedication and did not let us down, which was very impressive. There is evidence of sadness by both the Impact teachers and our teachers as our trip is coming to an end, but hopefully tomorrow will be wonderful and not too emotional.
Day 6 – Fri. 20th Feb
Today was our last day of teacher observations and training. The teachers seem to have made a great amount of progress; it is clearly evident in their teaching and engagement of students. The training session was very emotional with all the teachers sad that we were leaving. We decided to all dress up in saris and they felt so overwhelmed that we had embraced the culture and tradition. We did of course require a little help with putting them on! The training consisted of a summary of the week and a certificate ceremony for teachers with outstanding achievement. This followed with a lot of picture taking and some teachers presented the Impact teachers with gifts which was so unexpected. We must now say farewell to our teachers but not goodbye as our trips will continue in April.