School days

Guess what? I am teaching now15 kids from 5 to 19 years. All of them are special: autistic, Down syndrome and the majority struggles with concentration or has a low IQ so our challenge is it to teach all these children without losing their awareness. This is very tough because when the lessons are too easy they just fall asleep and when they are too difficult the kids will start shouting, screaming and punshing.

Another challenge is the language. They are speaking Kannada and we are speaking English. But I found out that smiling is the best way to get along with them. When I feel that someone is sad or has now idea what to do I smile and take his or her hand and we do the task together. Most of the time they are smiling back and this feels so good. These are the moments when I know that I am doing the right thing here 🙂

In the morning we have class like English, Maths, writing and reading . After lunch we have quiet time which means that everyone is painting and afterwards we are playing games. Honestly I don’t know what is harder, because playing games with 15 children in complete different ages is not that easy 😉

In India you are teaching completely different to the German teaching-style:

  • the kids learn by heart and recite poets and single words
  • the kids are able to spell and pronounce the known words, but if you give them a new word they are not able to read it out loud, because they have no idea how to pronounce the letters
  • the kids can write numbers from 1-200, because they are copying the numbers as long as they get to know them. But for them 110 is one one zero and by saying one hundred and ten they don’t know what you mean
  • in maths they are copying the 1X1 till they know it by heart, but the minority knows how to do addition, subtraction and division correctly

So we are facing children who know how to write piano, but have no clue how to write water. Furthermore we are struggling with the language, but nevertheless we are having fun and the kids starting to trust us and I think they like the way we are teaching (I teach a bit different, because I introduced high-five when someone gives the right answer and I also allow them to first draw a tree and then we write the word together and afterwards we are learning the pronunciation). Doing this I am amble too keep their attention and they actually know what they are learning and what the word tree means.

Yours Kristin


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