Institute – where I begin learning to be a teacher

Disclaimer: All posts under ‘Teach for India’ are published rough drafts, cos I have ZERO time for editing considering how hectic life is. Once that changes, this disclaimer’ll go.

Its been over a month since I got to Pune and time has simple FLOWN. There’s just SO MUCH happening that every day feels like a week in my pre-TFI life.
Institute is the 5 week training program every cohort of Teach for India Fellows go through before we go into our city schools.
There are 270 of us here right nowand I’ve loved meeting almost everybody I’ve met so far.

The place we’re at is simply superb. We’re in a university campus on top of a hill (FLAME, Lavale) , quite cut off from the rest of Pune.It’s green and pretty and oh.so.peaceful. All my dust and pollen allergy is completely gone here. I don’t remember the last time I sneezed! Makes me hate city air so much.

Training has been SO SO HECTIC that it’s very surprising if I get 15 minutes of quiet time to myself in a day. We end up working about 16-18 hours a day..initially I thought that was an exagerration, but soon enough it isn’t. Still, I’ve managed to squeeze in a run at least 4-5 times a week. And it’s the best thing I’ve got to keep me going here. When things are this hectic, one has to stop to prioritize health and well being over work. There are people all around me dropping out of exhaustion and sickness.

The good thing is when my head hits the pillow, I’m knocked out before I can complete a thought.
And some days it isn’t just physical exhaustion, it’s mental. The amount of information and feelings that seems to have infused its way into my every cell makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a train, and swollen like the next bit of emotion might just cause me to burst.

And then there’s planning for your 40 minute lesson in summer school. We do that almost every day, and until you get the hang of it, it’s frustrating and tedious especially when you’re new to it and sleep deprived. The silver lining- it brings all of us together in our sleep deprived misery. At 11 pm you’ll find about 30 of us at work in a lecture hall on campus- in our day clothes, pajamas, running gear. We’re powering through. Not just on caffeine, but with an amazing support system that comprises of our staff, 1 year fellows and the rest like me who are are part of the Mumbai cohort. Sometimes it does feel like we’ve got a super high concentration of good-hearted wonderful people in TFI. There’s appreciation being voiced, notes of love and gratitude being passed around, Secret Santa being played in May, and hugs. It’s hard to get away from love here. And that’s good, cos some days love is all you need.

On that cheesy note, I end this post. Bits and pieces that will elaborate on my experience during Institute will follow.

 

 

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