I rub the sleep out of my eyes and wake up to a desperate call from a parent. His child is not picking up his call! The child had not called on the previous night and anxiety is at its peak because the child’s roommate is down with a fever.
I look outside the window to see grey clouds covering the skies. Heavy rainfall, lightning and thunderstorm! I start to wonder how the day is going to progress… the walk to breakfast, to classes and other events, will unfold!
A quick call with the Site Director to discuss our transport options while also dealing with a sudden electricity failure!
The rains have shown mercy! I see a clear blue sky. The campus feels fresh, bathed in rain; it’s clean and invitingly green. The perfect weather to enjoy field trips, outdoor experiments and sports! The clouds that looked and behaved like villains are now innocently playing hide and seek with the Sun… I feel happy to get to work in this climate resembling a hill station!
A child is unwell, nothing major, the residential coach (RC) is aware, the teaching assistant (TA) is informed, the med-on-duty is ready to deal with any emergency.
After a good breakfast, I walk to the academic block alongside students who are chatting excitedly about wanting more rains! Their energy is contagious; laughter fills the road we walk daily.
It’s time for classroom observation. Today I’m spending time in the Design thinking class. Students are working with Bamboo. Their ideas, their enthusiasm, and their conceptual knowledge are enough to make grownups nervous! They follow guidelines for safety as they start to chop, clean, cut and smooth the rawness of the bamboo a great analogy to the shaping of their ideas and sharpening themselves!
I note down notes for my review for this class observation: Empathetic engagement enhances enthusiasm! Learning is visible and they are indeed leaders of their own learning! Time to go to the next class…
As I enter, students are creating a program that will help track a moving airplane in the nearby vicinity. Students are ecstatic, lost in tracking the “enemy plane” and creating videos of the process.
At lunch, I meet students from the Storytelling course who have just returned from a field trip. They are soaked both literally with sweat and metaphorically with conversations of the marketplace and which characters they would create. Engrossed in a debate of what is true and what is fiction. In the periphery I see the admin team ensuring these ideas get fed on time! Is the student with the food allergy taken care off? Checklist confirms – YES!
What are students doing with skulls in their hands?… It’s not scary?… Is it debatable? The students in the Science of Life course are holding 3D printed skulls to understand, interpret, observe, hypothesize and collate their work about evolution. I wish I had been given a heads up about it… pun intended!
The villainous clouds back! Wreaking havoc… creating slippery floors and tempting students to get wet! Among the madness I see order. In the end, there are no mishaps, no spilling, no falling, and no injuries! Hurray! For active supervision!
It’s time to have some fun! I walk around to observe a plethora of activities taking place. Somewhere students are dancing to the beats of the latest Zumba songs, in other places students are intensely solving puzzles. In a classroom, students are learning to play instruments and in the other, they are giggling as they paint like Picassos. Outside the sports enthusiasts are playing cricket, basketball, football. Students have earned a break after the long day!
Its dinner time and excitement is high – there is pizza on the menu! Students line up quickly to fill their plates putting their bartering skills to use as they exchange pastries and ice cream flavours. I am sitting with a group of students who are reflecting upon a TEd Talk and I can hear students on the next table decoding a movie they saw in class.
I am back in the academic block with the students. The TA is trying to wrap up the class and head back but students are refusing to leave! I can imagine the faces of the RCs waiting for the students to return. They are not going to be happy about this delay in the schedule.
We are back in the hostel block – our home away from home. Students are getting ready for bed; I can see many in the corridors talking to their parents sharing what they experienced during the day whereas others are busier chatting with their friends.
Almost time for light out. RCs are frantically trying to ensure everyone is in bed. Some are boiling hot water for their students and others are counting to ensure everyone is present.
It starts pouring again! Thunderstorm and lightening… but the team is happy they have the last laugh as they complete one more day successfully!
RCs begin their nightly rounds. A student is unwell. The med-on-duty takes charge. The student does not have a fever or a sore throat… just fatigue… The RC listens patiently to this child and this helps her relax… Meanwhile, I am getting a call from parent… But this one is to thank us for talking to her child, and taking care of her emotional needs.
All is silent.
I hear the phone ring. This can’t be good news. TA is complaining of severe pain – seems like a kidney stone! The team gets into action – time for a midnight trip to KMS.
Kidney stone confirmed. The TA is back – no major cause to worry as painkillers do their job. Time to catch up on sleep because in a few hours another day is about to start.
My phone rings…
Day after day memories were created and it turned out that this was the #BestSummerEver!
His writing is based on his experiences, feeling and learning from real-life situations, classrooms and interacting with all stakeholders.
Shekhar is influenced by education for gifted and talented youth, creating courses for gifted and talented middle school students, issues related to Deeper Learning processes, Project Based Learning.
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