Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Long Long Goodbye!

The villagers here have already planned out a grand party for me even before my colleagues. The spot has been decided. It’s on a hill top nearby. But sadly it will be the last gathering for me with the people who adored me the most. It’s my farewell. I am leaving soon after serving them as a teacher in their community for last two years.

 I have exactly 20 days more to stay here. And I have already started to feel uneasy about it. The feeling to leave them robs my serenity. The same feeling is elsewhere too. Whenever I number the days to stay here, grandpas, grandmas and aums click their tongue, hold my hand and vehemently says in their limited Dzongkha, ‘Oye deybay masung…. lopon, ngacha……. sam ……..megha lopon….. mewa chan…aaii’ stammering and filling gaps in between with words from their own dialect.

You may only lament but I have seen it on their innocent eyes, heard it in their voice and felt it all in my heart. The generosity shown and the warmth of their kindness will shell me against any storm. I have been honored, applauded, respected, looked upon and praised to the length that I have become ever stronger. They have asked for a private meeting with me to offer me hand- beaten tangma (maize goody) as gift to my parents and to pour me some butter tea in the eve of my departure because they know that I love those stuffs extremely.
Two year old Sonam Yangchen munching on a maize head.
For more Pictures-
Our football team; Pls don't look at our physique but understand the spirit.

The husbands and boys too wish to have a Lopen like me when I leave from here. For I have been there for them in many occasions. I played, drank, laughed and sang along with them. I have attended all the Local festivals, graced their marriage ceremonies with my presence, helped in arranging cakes, candles and balloons for enthusiastic parents on their children’s birthday. Most of them are lay monks and they also love to play football. We once teamed up to play a match with teachers of TrashiYangtse Middle Secondary School in TrashiYangtse town. Though we lost the match but it only further cemented the friendship we share.

I have composed the following song in praise of them. It is in their dialect (spoken by upper T/yangtse dwellers) and is translated for your pleasure. I wish to sing it to them in the farewell party if only my heavy heart would.

Oka hongsa gala sindey
(I felt happy coming here)

Nga ku Khim ma graindey
(I didn’t miss my home)

E  biki kantu sinday
(You loved me like your baby)

Purarang sam libu basa new
(Everybody is kind hearted)

Abu, achea, shomo, shokpo
(Elder sister, elder brother, sister and brother)

Nga satharang new
(Are same like mine)

Ama, ai, apa nga pura sindey
(Grandma, mother and father I love you all)

E nga ku phama plikira new
(You all are like my parents)

Sacha singpa nala santi broma sindey
(I like roaming in this beautiful place)

Plang zongnarang  nam tshonarang,
(In a sunny or in a rainy day)

Kheray, asham, thang dev ku dumra
(Millet, maize and paddy field)

Chang, thangma, suja, I pura sindey.
(Wine, maize goody, butter tea I like them all)

Nogor nga bro du show, Nga dozorang thap rai
(I am leaving tomorrow, I will come soon)

Nga dangsarang zoodey gabonayang
(I will miss you so much when I am away)

Nga ku noksam thongma ku rawa new
(Hope you will miss me too)

Nga chum thaku botka leebu baysay zeega
(Till then, live well)

                                                          GOD BLESS THEM A LONG LIVE.
                                    I WISH ALL PEOPLE HAVE A HEART TO LOVE AND A MIND 
                                                      TO CARE LIKE I HAVE FOUND HERE!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mother Earth

   Message: Earth will not give birth, lets protect our Mother Earth

Note: Sketched and painted on June 5th, 2010 observing World Environment Day at my School.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My speech on the 'Impression' of the Orientation programm

The following is the ‘speech on impression’ that I delivered on 8th April, 2010- the day when the orientation for Light Drukyul Teachers (third batch) concluded. Venue- Auditorium of Centenary Youth Center,Thimphu.

“What will the child that you once were think of the adult that you have become?”

If we all keep this question in our mind it will serve us to think better, do better and be better each day of our life.

Good morning to you all- Honorable Madam Secretary Heads of departments and my fellow colleagues.

 The one week long orientation program could be summed up in these three words ‘Attitude changing experience’.

Past few days we have been familiarized on varies teaching methodologies- skills and strategies. It included;
Orientation on curriculum
Year/Block/ Lesson planning
Teacher’s Roles and Responsibilities
Educating for GNH
Counseling and other relevant topics.

I shall now deal with the impression of this orientation program.

After having briefed on these topics there has been a shift in the way we understand the teaching profession. Before the orientation we only had the opinion that the profession of teaching is mere difficult and often tiresome. Now, it seems not only interesting but it also provides an opportunity to touch lives and ultimately create a legacy for ourselves by becoming a good teacher. That’s the change in attitude and understanding I have seen.

At the beginning of the orientation, one of my friend use to receive calls from the Employment Board and other Private Companies informing him of dates scheduled for job interviews that he had applied earlier. But, as days passed on, my friend began to press the Red button each time his mobile rang. And he would immediately concentrate on the lecture being presented. That’s the change in decision I have seen.

Two weeks back when we stood in a long queue for light Drukyul interview, which was conducted in the well furnished building on my left side- our prime focus was mainly on the monetary aspect of the job though it could only attract a small number of candidates. But now, our focus is mostly on the avenue or the scope to serve the needy communities in far flung corners of our country. And to help their sons and daughters live a decent life through education and in a broader sense, to serve the nation. That’s the change in desire I have seen.

At more personal level, after I completed my graduation in mid 2008, I worked with two private media organizations stationed in Thimphu. But, due to their financial difficulties I had to resign by the mid of 2009. Since then, I have been applying for a teaching post in almost all the private schools in the country. Having earned a degree in mass communication and journalism, I even pursued the principals by presenting them with a proposal to set up a Media club in the school, but to no avail.
Hopeless and dejected, I felt my dream of becoming an educationist is finished. But fortunately on mid of March someone from the Ministry of Education called to inform that I got selected for Light drukyul Project. I was excited because I was waiting for a call. And after attending this orientation I am hopeful like never before that my dream of becoming one of the finest teachers in the country is not so far away. That’s the change I have gone through.

Happy teaching to all of you!

Thank you and Trashi Delek!

My teaching contract will expire on 18th of December, 2011. Teaching, without any formal training, in a remote community school has been an educational journey for me too.

Note: Thanks giving to Ministry of Education and Royal Civil Service Commission via my blog is scheduled on April 8th, 2012. I have so much to share.. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s Sports Day in a remote community school.

Due to budget constrain this year we organized our Annual School sport’s day differently. Instead of organizing competition between individuals, which will considerably consume a huge amount of money in purchasing prizes, we decided to conduct competitions among groups. All the sporting events were Team orientated. A packet of sweet was kept as the prize and sadly the only team which secured first position in the competition got the prize. Felt sorry for the runner ups and the participants. However they showcased a fantastic sporting spirit despite some uneasiness. 

Managing events and programmes in a small school is indeed a monumental task as the school doesn’t have avenues to make extra funds. Whatever little the fund Government provides we have to divide smartly. This time around our smartness had to be employed in dividing the limited fund between Sport’s Day and School Picnic-cum-Farewell to class six. We are going for Picnic tomorrow.

As I am the games and sport’s coordinator of the school, I had to come up with a list of Team Oriented Games for the event. Following are the sporting events conducted a few days back. Hope you like it.

Dragon Tag: Extended version of pulling the tail
Stick Race

Musical Chair for our pre-primary Kids

Pole Race...My boys loved it but girls Hated the most!

Rally race

Find Your Own Shoe: Another Hit item among the Pre-primary kids

Friday, November 11, 2011

Unusual Strategies in Practice: From The teacher who don’t have a Degree in Education.

I am not an Educational Guru trying to teach something here. Nor do I have the required qualification. Through this article I just want to share the culture I practice in my school. I have developed these practices out of immense love for children and utmost passion to teach.

The following article is especially written for pre-primary and primary school teachers serving in remote community schools. I hope this article makes sense to them and help them as it has helped me. So the information here may not be useful to other educationists elsewhere and other professionals but what’s there in reading it once and dropping some comments. You never know, you might be having much effective and better strategies and practices. I know there are books written on skills and strategies to teach but let’s think out of the box. So leave some of yours to help folks like me to serve the nation better!

1:  Collect and Win: I ask students(class 2 and below) to collect garbage like plastic, paper, chocolate covers lying around the school campus and ask them to count in front of me before throwing it into the pit. And whoever manages to collect the highest number of garbage is rewarded with a ‘Big Laksho’ on their noisy nose (please don’t laugh on my subject).

Advantages: 1. School will be always clean.
                    2. A sense of competition is preserved.
                    3. A sense of cleanliness and hygiene is nurtured.
                    4. Revision on numbering and counting.
2: Picture Clue: I make a simple sketch of a student or a fellow teacher on the blackboard and ask the class to recognize it. My students love it. We laugh a lot whenever i am done with a sketch on the board.

Advantages: 1. Use their brain to co-relate the figure and the marks.
                    2. A great fun activity.
                    3.  Exercise to recall and know the names of teachers and schoolmates.

3: Drawing the opposite picture: I ask students to sketch or draw a picture drawn by senior students on the back of the same paper.  They immerse themselves to complete the drawing.

Advantages: 1. Use and develop their logical thinking.
                    2. Zero wastage of paper.
                    3. A sense of pride is fostered when students can draw the same picture.
                    4. Learn some drawing skills.

4: A visit to the library: when my students complete the assignments given to them on time I take them to our small library. Students love stories so I often read a story and narrate it to them. In other days I let them take their favorite books to read within that period.

Advantages: 1. Increase love for reading.
                   2. Mini vacation for the learners to the world outside (through books).
                   3. becomes more punctual in doing tasks for another visit to the library.

5: Running to the class: when students (class two and below) are found outside playing during the class hours I tell them that whoever gets inside the class first when i count to 3 would be rewarded with another Big Laksho!

Advantages: 1. Students get seated and get ready for the lesson to be taught before I enter the class.
                    2.   Enhance their ability to re-act quickly on greater challenges ahead.
                    3.  I don’t have to shout, scold them or get angry.
                    4. A great sense of competition is alive and happening which I think is good for them.  

6: Writing from the text: I ask students to copy a whole article from a textbook without any changes. They love this writing activity as much as they do with the Picture Clue.  
Advantages:  Students would be familiar with-
1.       Punctuation marks.
2.       spellings
3.       And their handwriting will also improve (a constant monitoring and a clear instruction is needed though).
                    4. Student’s level of concentration is increased.

7: Give away old text books: I often visit to our storeroom where a lot of out-dated and old textbooks lay unused. I give it to the students who pester me to have one.
Advantages: 1. The Books will help the learners be in touch with books even after the school is over- Fosters         learning in a private setting.
                    2. Desire to learn more.
                    3.  Will teach youngsters at their house.

8: warming up: Before I begin with a new topic I ask my students to clap their hands or stamp their feet, jump or do some running around the school. Wired isn’t it? But for me it has worked. The students love this activity too.

Advantages:  1. Students get energized.
                    2. There is more blood flowing throughout their body which means they are more alert.
                    3. A fresh mind to pour in a new lesson.

9: Classroom Language: I made a list of useful classroom Phrases like ‘Please can I go out sir’, ‘May I have a pen please’ etc and asked students to memorize the phrases and use it.

Advantage: 1. English speaking is slowing gaining its popularity in my school.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Faces of the people and the place i live in......

Chorten Kora...the attraction of Trashiyangtse 

The priceless view from my School....the town below is Trashiyangtse and
the snow capped Mountain Belongs to India.

The view from a Hotel window in the town..where i slept my first night in Trashiyangtse

Backdrop: The old Dzong of Yangtse.

A hamlet just above my one roomed apartment.
Me with my local boys...they r all lay monks....
we had team up to play a football match with teachers in the town...bad news- we lost!

Simple marriage ceremony in the village

An elderly woman helps to make Tar Thang Ma 

At a Local Festival Called CHE- KHOR

My three angels of Class One Trying to teach the World.....

I am a humble teacher: An accidental Poem!

I am a humble teacher. I must remain humble. I must behave like  a noble person Because I have a noble job. A 'nobel job&#...