The last day of the programme was definitely an emotional one.
Again I was with Group 3 (Cailtin, Baz, Angela) at Janta, Children Happy and Vivek Modern. At that moment in India it was festival season which means they have a lot of random holidays which they seem to have forgotten to mention to us! So this meant that there were no children in at Janta or Children Happy which made the mentors jobs a little trickier.
The last day is meant to be the day that the teachers are evaluated and given their final mark on lesson planning so unfortunately for them it meant that they had to be marked on their lesson the day before.
In a way it was beneficial to those teachers as they were able to have some more 1:1 time with their mentors and plan some lessons with them ready for the next week but it meant that they were not necessarily able to show their conclusion as that is what the session was yesterday.
After that we headed to the third school, Vivek Modern where they did have children in. I sat in with Angela’s lessons and the first one we saw was so exciting! The kids were so engaged and excited to learn. There was an ‘I can’ learning objective on the board, a starter, a main and a plenary! There was also group work going on!
After the observations were complete we went on to training centre where we had our final lunch, brought to us by the hotel. Every day they arrived with a box of delicious food on their motorbike: naan, rice, butter paneer and some sort of vegetable curry.
The final seminar was on extensions, done by Kat and Baz to encourage challenging particular students that are breezing through the current lessons. From the progress that we had seen in the teachers already they seemed as if they would be able to add extensions on pretty easily. The teachers in the programme were so receptive by the end of the week and really excited to get involved, participating in role playing and putting their hands up (very excitedly) to answer all the questions.
To end the week we had a little awards ceremony to appreciate the hard work of the teachers. The awards included things like 'Most Enthusiastic' and 'Best Main Activity' in order to end on a positive note and give a last little bit of encouragement. At the end of the 4 week programme (which is spread over a year) they will receive an official certificate to say that they have completed the programme.
Watching the awards was so amazing and inspiring, the pride shown by the mentors and the joy from the teachers was just astounding. They had developed such strong bonds in such a short amount of time and made such an impact on each other, it was beautiful to see. I feel like as much as I gush on about it I can’t get across what it was like because it was just so unique.
We ended the trip with a head teacher dinner, they were all invited but unfortunately not all could attend. In a way it was a little lucky as the ones that did come brought their children with them, which was great fun!
My favourite pair was the head teacher from BR Modern with his matching son in skinny jeans and blazers looking very smart.
After being back for 2 weeks I have settled back in to normality (with a little resistance) but would be ready to jump on a plane back to India if anybody asked (anyone?!). I had the most amazing experience with Impact, it really was life changing and I find I have come back a lot more appreciation for life in general and also the value of education. To see the difference that a little bit of kindness and education can make really hit home and inspired me to do more.
After my time with Impact I stayed on a few more days and visited the Taj Mahal, attended a wedding, put on a sari (using YouTube), learnt to cook Indian food in a local’s home and found out we were in the newspaper! India is such a special place and so much more can be done through visiting with Impact and making a difference on the education.
I highly recommend to anyone who is interested to get involved to do it! Get signed up and make an impact!!