Time flies, and before I know it, I’m into my third week at Sahyadri School. I’ve started teaching Chemistry for class 10, and am awaiting the return of the children in the other classes, who come tomorrow. It’s wonderful being in a place like this, with beautiful hills all around. The school itself is situated on the top of a hill in the catchment area of the Chas Kaman dam on the river Bhima.
The first few days here have been really wonderful. The people here are so warm and friendly that I started feeling at home on the very first day. And it’s not been dull at all. I’ve been doing so many things, especially once the class 10 children got back. I’ve been teaching Chemistry, playing badminton and football, going for long walks and treks, learning to observe and identify birds from bird-watching enthusiasts(both children and adults), getting to know people who come from diverse backgrounds and have very interesting experiences to recount… It’s been simply great so far!
The classes have been pretty good so far. Std 10 is having special classes right now, until the rest of the school joins them on June 11th. I’m in the process of trying to discover my “way” of teaching, and trying to identify its aspects that aid or hinder the learning process, so as to keep refining it. Both the divisions of 10th std have their classes together till tomorrow (and that too in a lab whose arrangement is not suited for classroom teaching), so occasionally I find myself having to shout a bit to retain the children’s attention. I’m waiting for normal classes to resume so that I’ll have a smaller class and a proper classroom to work with.
One of the highlights of these two weeks was the trek from Bhimashankar to Bhorgiri, with the class 10 children and some other teachers. It was simply awesome. A two hour walk from the source of the river Bhima, down through forests and sloping dry grasslands, to a village at the foot of the hills. We even sighted the giant squirrel twice, and also a group of langurs.
What a journey it has been from being a frustrated engineering student to becoming a teacher at an alternative school(perhaps “alternative” is too strong a word, but still the school does do many things differently so I’ll stick with it)! And it’s only the beginning. I’m really looking forward to going as far as I can in this personal quest to try and find out what Life is all about, and what it means to be human.