It's okay to be jealous about this
01, May 2016
Recently I had a chance to visit a school nearby and was stunned by the activities happening there. I have never witnessed any school doing great with the kids and the work teachers do there was too bloody great. No wonder they charge a hefty fees amount per year.
I waited until the class was over. I wanted to have conversation with the teacher to know what their daily routine was. She was kind enough to spend her time talking to me after her hectic schedule. I was curious to know what extra works she did compared to any other teacher from a different school that the institution has designed such a huge fees structure.
Below are the points she shared with me that take place every single day in her school.
- School commences by 9AM but the teachers are expected to be present by 8.45 in the school premises. Since the students arrive at different times, it’s the teachers’ duty to look after the ones who arrived early and the teachers’ responsibility begins even before the school starts. When I did my schoolings my teachers arrived super late and never left the staff room, busy gossiping or having their breakfast. But the teachers in this school were not allowed to because they don’t have a staff room in the first place. Prayer begins by 9.05AM and all the students are supposed to sing the same old Tamil thaai vaazhthu, Religious songs, etc.
- Students are given turns to read out weather report which they are supposed to do as a part of their daily homework, next comes Thirukural reciting and another student should explain the meaning with a real life scenario, two other students should shoot 2 general knowledge questions with explanation, a set of 5 students should come forward to read out daily news and another set 5 to read Proverbs and explain their meaning. This gets better, now the teachers are supposed to take turns everyday to give a speech with a short story not less than 5 minutes. Sounds usual? Keep reading
- Class starts by 9.30AM. 9:30-9:35AM students are asked to do a set of simple activities each day. Such as
7 Types of meditations one per day, where the students are supposed to close their eyes and repeat what the teacher says.
- Day 1: Bless others – Bless my friends, bless my family, bless my school, bless my country, bless my world
- Day 2: Bless thyself – Bless me to not harm others, bless me to help others, bless me with good health
- Day 3: Pledge to live a healthy life – I pledge to lead a healthy life taking care of my eyes, brain, lungs, kidney and heart. I promise to take a good care of my body
- Day 4: Focusing on colors – Student should imagine their favorite color and think about the things that are of the same color
- Day 5: Bless Rain – Bless lakes, ponds, rivers and oceans to be always full and bless rain to shower not more not less and bless people with health and wealth
- Day 6: Culture and Discipline – I pledge to speak truth always, I pledge to be always punctual, I pledge to always respect my elders
- Day 7: Mind relaxations – Students are asked to count 1-20. Breathe in, breathe out and then count from 20-1
- 9:35AM – Self Attendance. That’s right. The students are supposed to mark their attendance themselves. Each student is given a card to check against the corresponding date printed on the card. And there is also the usual roll calling by the teachers just to be sure that no one is helping their absent friend
- 9:40AM - Marking self weather report based on the information passed during the prayer and what each student feels about the day. The options will be listed in the card and the students make an input in the form of drawing each day for e.g an umbrella if rainy, cotton dress if sunny and so on. The options are sunny, too hot, cloudy, rainy, heavy rain, breezy, storm etc.
- 9:45AM - This is the part I personally like the most. Every student in the class is given an individual black board. The walls of the classroom are painted black and each student is given a low-level black board. Every student should write the current date and the timetable of the day in their mini boards.
- 9:50-10AM – Homework checking and correction. The ones who did not finish their works are given 5mins extra time to finish it in front of the teacher.
- 10-10:15AM – Physical exercises – students are spilt into 4 groups and are given different activities and the groups are shuffled every week. Activities such as jumping and marking the highest point he/she could reach on the wall, running and hopping around the class, stretching and a few activities. This makes them be more attentive and their ability to listen and learn increases drastically
- 10:15-12:10AM – Subject related class begins. To my surprise the teacher said, the students love subject more than the above mentioned activities. None of the teachers have their own chair or table neither the students. They have mats and the teacher is supposed to sit on the mat as well. The subject is not taught by writing on the board, instead the content is printed on cards with colorful images and each student gets his own card to perform the task printed on it. The teachers are not supposed to be using board until and unless the students find it hard to pronounce certain words.
- 12:10-12:25PM – Yoga class
- 12:25-12:40PM – PT class. They have a playground the students are supposed to be playing different games every day. I wish I had PT classes twice a week. These kids play all day long and still get a PT period.
- Lunch break until 12.40-1.15PM – after which the students are asked to sing poems or perform what they like in front of the class. Next the teacher is supposed to teach two new Tamil and 2 new English words with their meanings and the students are supposed to take a written test of the words taught the previous day.
- 12:50 – Water break like they never had a break the whole day
- Rest of the day goes with a different subject until 3.20PM
- 3:20-3:30PM – Second break
- 3:30PM – Zero period. The students are given this hour to develop their non curricular skills
Day 1 – Singing
Day 2 – Dancing
Day 3 – Drawing
Day 4 – Library
Day 5 – Movie Time (educational videos)
Day 6 – Any extra-curricular activity of the students’ choice
- After the school hours while they wait for the bell to ring, the students are supposed to say what they had for lunch with the nutritional composition. The teacher is supposed to explain the fact about each and every component.
Like for real. Who would miss a school day if this happened on a daily basis? When we were doing our schooling, we had 7 darn periods and the teacher would come recite whatever she had memorized and would simply write the same on the black board and force us to copy it on our notebooks or pick a random student to do the same while she takes rest comfortably.
I wanted the teacher to be open about the fee structure. She casually said, “Oh, No fees at all”
I know. I hear you. What the hell is the name of the school?
PANCHAYATH UNION GOVERNMENT SCHOOL, TAMIL NADU
And that teacher my friend, is my MOM.
Surprised? Add this. They have ENGLISH MEDIUM as well.
The teachers in her school had to work 10x times than any normal teacher and were given marks for their works and ranked among the fellow teachers. Read what they have to go through every single day
- Teachers are not given a chair and desk
- Teachers should sit on the floor among the students while taking class
- They are not supposed to use boards yet make the students understand the subject in depth
- Every morning it’s the teachers’ duty to check if the students have properly arranged their foot-wears, books, bags, lunch bags etc for which the teacher will be awarded with 1 mark by the Principal
- Every day the teacher should check if the students have bathed. That’s right, the teacher is supposed to find out (How? I'm leaving that for your imagination) and inform the parents if not.
- Every Monday morning the teacher should go around the class checking the students’ nail and hair and check if they are tidy
- Every Thursday the teacher should trim nails of the students if they haven’t done it themselves
- Previously students were given free footwear. The teachers were supposed to measure the students' foot size by making them stand on a paper and mark the length.
I don't know why a private school teacher would complain a government employee is getting paid more. Would you go through this on a daily basis?
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