Much water has flown under the bridge. My life, my work in my class now seems fulfilling. I am now really reaching my targets. I am actually now able to teach in the class and the children are responding. Classroom situations are now fun filled and we have much more discipline in the class.
‘My Friend’ has now become manageable. He responds to instructions, although with a little reluctance. He looks at me when he comes into the class. He obeys when we tell him to sit in his place, gives his attendance, says ‘May I come in?’ and sometimes asks for what he wants instead of just snatching it. Of course, he speaks in monosyllables most of the time and still wants to be out on the ground in his own imaginary world. Yet I am VERY HAPPY. There has been tremendous improvement. He sometimes makes eye to eye contact and he calls me by my name. Today, he was waiting in the corridor for me to come to class. I was thrilled. Of what use are we teachers if not for the purpose of creating such learning situations that we all enjoy and look forward to.
All this change has come about because of my friend’s shadow teacher. She has come as a boon. She is a lovely girl, totally unassuming and non interfering. She concentrates on her duty. She sits with my friend at the back of the class and quietly gets the class work done. She coaxes, dissuades, persuades and promises him small ‘possible’ rewards. Whatever her strategy, it is working. Being constantly with him, she now understands him quite a lot. She has a lot of patience and handles him well.
My friend was an elephant in the drama that I had set for the Annual Day. He went confidently on the stage and said his dialogue. He stood with his friends till the end of the play. He had a field time the entire month when we were all busy practicing. Hardly any studies and lots of time to be out on the ground. Several imaginary stories would have been created. Once I saw him with a gunny sack on his back, busy searching for something. He had already created a ‘chullah’ with twigs. Mosaic tiles for plates and a long stick for a knife were in his kitchen. On asking we were told that he was going to prepare ‘chicken’ after first catching it. One day he spelt out ‘Thomas’ and ‘Friend’ on the flannel board. It turned out that, that was the latest cartoon he was crazy about. On another occasion he arranged the long individual fronds of the coconut leaf in the form of the railway tracks on which Thomas, the cartoon train would travel on.
The exams are going on and I am worried. My Friend is pretty adamant when it comes to answering the oral questions. I have to insert in my questions during his constant activity and roaming around. I get answers only if He wants to answer. I know that he knows the answers. In the English written paper I saw some new questions and answers. These were the ones that interested him. After writing these, he solved the rest of the paper.
- Ms. Jyoti Honkote, Asstt. Teacher, Eng (Primary)