I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade mathematics at a rural school called Drishti Dr. R.C. Jain Innovative Public School. I taught new concepts, reviewed old concepts, helped with the final examination process, and assisted students in making creative projects for the school’s academic exhibition. I lived on the school campus, and tutored children after school in math and English. On weekends, I would visit teachers’ homes and national landmarks. I learned so much about the Indian education system and school culture. They truly are like a family at Drishti! I was welcomed with so much generosity and love.
The host culture:
My favorite part about Indian culture is the food! Although meat is not as common in India as it is in the States, I loved everything that I ate. Now, I cook Indian meals for my friends and family at home! I also loved how generous the people are. Students always shared any treats they brought to school, and teachers always welcomed me into their homes with hugs and chai. I also enjoyed learning about the diversity among religions, lifestyles, and values of the Indian people.
The most challenging part of living/teaching in India was the language barrier. The younger the grade you teach, the less proficient in English the students are. However, I made the most of this challenge and learned a few Hindi words and phrases. Also, another challenge was that the Indian schools do not have an abundance of resources like teachers in the US. In math for grades 6-12, teachers heavily rely on the textbook and students struggle with mathematical reasoning. I was able to have a workshop with the math teachers about practical ways they could implement in lessons to enhance students’ reasoning skills.