Value Education

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The day started off on a slow note today. I have answer papers to correct from yesterday’s Unit Test. It is a subject that I teach besides my main subject. I also teach Value Education to a bunch of Sixth graders.

This particular subject is the most hated by teachers in the school. The amount of work that goes into making worksheets and test papers for this is not much. But then again, it is a bit too much when you are already loaded with so much work. Sometimes work other than the teaching part of the job.

Like in any job, in teaching too, it is the documentation or what we call as “Evidence” that matters. There is written or photographic proof of everything we do in class and for a class. This is so as to avoid issues later on in the session, when a particular task is questioned and explanations asked. Basically it is about being accountable.

Now in an office environment, this is an easy task. Every communication is documented. But how does one do that when you are imparting education in a class. Yes, of course there is the lesson plan to follow. There are worksheets set. There are textbooks and there are notebooks to mark the progress of a class. But is that really enough?

When a teacher is assessed, I have often wondered, what is it that they look for? Do they want someone who knows a lot about the subject? Or do they want someone who knows enough about the subject so as to be able to explain it well to middle school children?

Is it about the worksheets and notes? Is it about interactive classes or is it about being nice to the students to win their confidence? Or is it about being strict with them to make them regular in their work?

In my opinion, it is all about the balance. Just like we do with our own kids, the students in school need to be treated with respect and love. No harshness doesn’t mean being lenient. It just means that work can be done by being strict, but not by being mean.

During my previous stint as a teacher, I was so busy with the documentation work that I rarely got time to spend time chatting with the students. Even when I was a class teacher, the workload was so much that I used to barely get time to get the attendance done and circulars or cash collection done during the class teacher’s period. During my teaching periods, I had to complete the syllabus. So it was basically a rat race back then. I would come home to two young children who needed my undivided attention and the struggle would continue.

Now that my kids are bigger, I am not as tensed as before. I can plan and do my work on time. The result is that I can make time to converse with the students that I teach Value Education to. At least once a week, I spend time with them, I observe them and I learn from them.

My values are being added to with lesson I teach them. I wonder why then is this subject so hated by all…

A Free Write

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I haven’t the faintest idea why I have embarked on this mission today. I am not able to blog these days. It is driving me crazy. I get email updates when my friends blog and it irritates me because I am not able to do so myself. Then I hear that November is the month to get back to writing. To that , add the magic words “500 words”. I am a fan of such short post challenges that don’t expect much from you other than just writing 500 words a day. How difficult can that be?

I speak a lot to people these days. My talks with myself thus reducing with each passing day. That is what this blog is all about. Me speaking to myself. Yes, I am self obsessed that way!

When I read about My500Words at Write Tribe , I knew that this was it. I need something like this to blog again. So here I am, doing a free write. Just letting the world know that I pledge to write for 31 days.

I am guessing the prompts are going to come into my email everyday. Thus, pushing me to write for the day. I hope so. I really need that reminder to go on.

Facebook is a long lost dream now. So no joining groups for a while. Maybe when I sit up and write continuously for a few days and get into the habit of it, I shall consider using facebook groups again.

Yes, I am thinking out loud. This is a free write remember!  Being a teacher, my mind is always busy planning something or the other. So why not plan my blogging too. Writing 500 words a day can’t be difficult at all. Considering there is so much happening these days for me to share.

My job keeps me engaged, my kids keep me on my toes and my writing keeps me sane. Yesterday , I wrote the first few scenes of a screenplay for a movie making competition. I needed to give a sample of a script to the students to work on. They need to work on different story lines based on the few scenes I have written. That is when it struck me. I miss writing. I miss it a lot. My English might not be perfect, my technique might not be right. But I love to write. That is a good sign isn’t it?

There is a story that I started on this blog a few weeks ago. I haven’t been able to give it a part two so far. Maybe I will continue with that. Maybe I will write one  short story a day. Maybe I will just ramble through the 500 words everyday. That is the beauty of this. There is no theme, no restrictions. I just need to write 500 words about anything.

There is so much joy in writing, only now do I realize how important blogging is to me. I will try and be regular. My word count is at 510 now. And here I stop for the day…

Eid in RAK

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It was a strange kind of Eid Holidays this year. Every year we do plan something in advance for the long weekend that we get for Eid during this time of the year. This year was a slightly different one. My kids are both in their board exam years, so we are tied down at home because of this. But yesterday was the last day of hols for my kids and we decided to take a break from everything normal and enjoy a day out.

Memories are meant to be preserved in the form of pictures that remind us of these days and the warmth that these feelings bring about again when we look back at these days. After a very long time, I picked up my camera to click pictures. Of course, the photos below are a combination of pictures clicked from my DSLR and from my iPhone. Sometimes , it is difficult to make out which is which. If you can, do let me know. :)

On the way

On the way

Sunset Paraglidiing

Sunset Paraglidiing

Water on Feet

Water on Feet

Sea shells

Sea shells

Sunset and the beach

Sunset and the beach

The waves

The waves

The Path

The Path

Sunset

Sunset

Why do I still have this blog?

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There are times when I want to say something to the world. There are times when my feelings need to be expressed. There are times when I just need to talk, not bothering about whether I am being heard or not. I am not a professional blogger. I blog for fun and I always have. I have changed domains and self hosting and done a lot of research on blogging platforms purely because I love doing it. I love the idea of blogging, I love the idea of connecting, I love the idea of expressing, I love the feeling of being a blogger.

I got rid of my Photograph blog and Photography Page a few weeks ago. It was long overdue. In the life that I am leading now, stuck between home and work  due to various reasons, I do not have the opportunity to take my DSLR out. In fact at this very moment, I do not even know in which corner of my house the DSLR is in. That is the situation I am in right now.

Blogging has helped me through a lot in life. I have made online friends who have remained only as online friends for a very good reason. I am not a very social person in person. I love my loneliness and my privacy too much, I guess. But I am in no way anti social. Maybe that is the reason this blog survived my wrath and is still functional. The fact that I had only 101 comments in my Spam folder after all these weeks is a proof that my blog is literally dead.

But I am not giving up. No way. I have so much more to say. So much more to contribute. So much more to share. But now, my family needs me more. So writing is taking a back seat now. But I am sure once my children fly the coop, my writing , blogging and photography will continue in full swing. Till then I need to nurture every spare moment I get with my kids. Life is too short to completely ignore the blog for such long periods of time. So, I have decided to post something or the other on this blog at least once a week.

Something that can be shared, needs to be shared. I am going to find time to share my thoughts before my talks with myself die a slow death. I want to keep that communication line open. Between me and my inner thoughts.

Hope to see you around.

P.S : It feels so good to blog again. I missed it sooooooo much. :)

blogging

A small one

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My mom grew up in a farm where everything was home grown. Well, almost everything. Some of the vegetables that my aunt used to pluck from the garden and cook for us, during the vacations in our ancestral home in Palakkad ,were mouth watering delicious. She was a very good cook too.

I still remember those “cheena mullaku” chutneys she used to make for breakfast. A strong chilly flavour packed into those ever so tiny chillies. The flavour, the smell and its combination with soft, white melt in the mouth idlis is truly unforgettable. During the initial years of shifting back from Dubai to India, my mom had managed to grow those at home here in Thrissur. But the plant dies off soon. And we are left with only memories of that flavour. The “look a likes” in the supermarket these days don’t even taste quarter as good!

Why am I talking about those tiny, adorable highly spicy chillies? Well, I am at my parents’  home right now on a short break. That too alone, without my family. This house is packed with memories of my college life as it was built during my first year of college. In fact, I left the day after the house warming  to join the hostel and start my second year in college.

Yes, that was in back in 1993. A very long time ago. My mom’s garden has undergone many changes since then. Today I went ahead and clicked a few pictures of the area surrounding this house. The small garden at the back of the house is definitely the highlight. So sharing those pictures here. Collecting memories, I guess.

Out of Focus Ash Gourd

Out of Focus Ash Gourd

Ash Gourd again

Ash Gourd again

One Bunch of Bananas

One Bunch of Bananas

Two bunches of Bananas

Two bunches of Bananas

Okra

Okra

String Beans

String Beans