Work

So what am I actually doing for the majority of the time that I’m working in India? This section might be useful for those looking for more information on life as a teaching assistant with the British Council, specifically with the Generation UK-India programme, launched this year. Or just those curious souls who want to know what I’m really being paid for…

Painted on the wall of the cafe at Zostel Agra, to mark our stay!
Painted on the wall of the cafe at Zostel Agra, to mark our stay!

My daily routine, Monday- Friday

6:30am – alarm goes off.

7:30am – leave the girls’ hostel and be driven to work with some other teachers who live here, or nearby.

7:45am – arrive at work, sign in, start up my laptop, greet other teachers.

8:30am – School Assembly. Prayer, song, national anthem, thought of the day etc.

9:15am – classes begin.

10:25 – 10:30am – ‘food break’.

11am – lunch (when with kindergarten and Class I or II etc.)

11:30am – lunch – for Senior (upper) school

2:30pm – ‘Departure Time’ – end of school day.

~ 3:15pm – return to hostel.

English classes taught on a regular basis – mainly Class VI (age 10-11) at the moment. Sometimes Class IX or X. I also try to contribute to the ‘Social Science’ (Humanities) classes of Class IX, as well as doing conversational speaking assessments with students from kindergarten all the way up to Class II.

One thing that strikes me about the school timetable here, or at least in my school, is the lack of significant breaks throughout the school day. Pupils don’t go outside, the entire school (from nursery until Class XI) is located in a single building, and the lunch break is only 15/20 minutes. When I was in secondary school, we attended from around 9am-3:30pm and there was a break in the morning for 10/15 mins, and a lunch break of 45 mins. In fact, I think there were two breaks during ‘long days’ (when school ended at 3:35pm instead of 2:45pm on Mondays & Fridays)…

Cards and presents from my students for Teacher's Day, celebrated annually in India on the 5th of September.
Cards and presents from my students for Teacher’s Day, celebrated annually in India on the 5th of September.

UPDATE – 21/11/15

I just thought that I should add a quick note to this page, as the nature of my work at the school has actually changed quite considerably in the past 2 months. I now work almost entirely with Classes I & II (all sections) in their English lessons. Although I have also helped out at whole school events (such as an inter-school debating competition) I now rarely interact with the Senior students.

My days at work are currently focused around trying to introduce more games and  kinesthetic learning activities to English lessons. For example, flashcards, or games in which objects are hidden around the classroom, letting students stick post-it notes on the board as opposed to only the teacher writing on it etc.

After all, grammar is a notoriously boring subject, so why not throw in some hangman to the mix, or attempt to teach the correct use of “an” and “a” via the song Old MacDonald Had a Farm (it almost worked…). 😛

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One thought on “Work

  1. I think you should be very proud of the work you have done whilst in India. You have embraced an almost totally different way of life and I’m sure you have left your mark on those you teach and work with. Your days there are coming to an end soon so I hope you feel you have achieved a lot. I’m very proud of you.

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