That's my Co-teacher!


Today, I witnessed a milestone occur in one my classes today. To illustrate a story in one of the units about a gang fight, Yogesh (my co-teacher) grabbed a student by the shoulder and pretended to stab him in the stomach. You probably have two questions: "Why is that a big deal?" and "Is that even appropriate in a classroom?" To answer the second question first, it's India. So why is it a milestone?

Here's what a typical English class looks like at the high school. Teacher reads a paragraph of a story. Teacher asks a couple students to stand up and read the paragraph back. Teacher verbally translates the paragraph sentence by sentence into Gujarati. Rinse and repeat until the story is finished. Part of the reason that I'm here is to be an example of a teacher that deviates from this model and have my co-teacher pick up on some strategies that can get students to become more engaged learners. For example, I've drawn pictures on the board to go along with the unit, played simple games, and told "fun" and relevant stories from my own life. What Yogesh did today is something no other teacher at this school would ever have done in their whole career of teaching. By no means is this a sure sign that English is going to now thrive wherever Yogesh walks, but I've learned that developing as a teacher happens a half-step at a time. I forgot to give Yogesh constructive feedback for what I saw him do today. I'll remember to do that tomorrow, so maybe that's the second half-step to go with the one he made today.


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