The day was finally here – the day that 10 volunteers journeyed off to various schools around Delhi to make an impact on education, not just on a local level, but on a global level. We all met downstairs to have some breakfast before the hectic day ahead. The feeling of walking into the unknown was very scary, but exciting. Feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed we hopped into our cars ready to take on the day, we split into two groups to visit 3 schools each and begin our work with the teachers.
My car consisted of Alex, Carys, Kayley, Ricky, Sharon, and our fantastic STIR representative, Shubh. Our group of volunteers visited three different schools throughout the morning, the first was JGM (Junior Genius Minds) Primary. We met with the headteacher, who gave us a warm welcome, before the teachers headed off to classrooms for observations. I explored the school to take photos and got to have a sneak peek at some lessons, the teaching at this school was especially impressive in one class. Meenu, who has been teaching at the school for seven years, used an amazing array of strategies and has so much enthusiasm and passion for her job. It was a profound experience to see these teachers do so much with so little, and to see the positivity that is present within the schools despite their disadvantages. We went on to another school (Swarn Bharti Public School) where we met with the headteacher. He was very proud of the recent renovations within their school, and the effort they have made in organising their daily schedule. We did not observe lessons; instead we met with Year 7/8 students and got to see some beautiful artwork they had made for their teachers and fellow students. They were so proud of their work (in a humble and modest way), and they absolutely beamed with joy when you complimented their effort. Our last school gave the teachers another opportunity for one more observation, which was quite different from the first school of the day. It was interesting to see a variety of classrooms and teaching strategies.
In the afternoon, we reconvened with the other half of the Impact group of volunteers and the rest of the mentees. We provided them with our lesson feedback and then Carys and Ricky hosted the first seminar of the week on classroom engagement. The teachers were extremely interested and seemed to benefit a lot from the discussion. Everyone left with smiles on their faces (up until the ridiculously long taxi ride home).