Blues

Since past 3 weeks my days at work have been strictly following a pattern: 1,0, 1, 0, 1, 0 where 1represents ‘bad day’ and 0 ‘not so bad day’. On bad days, I find myself either not talking to any one in the office, or googling ‘how to cheer yourself up’! Let me write about today so far:

1) I reached school by 7:20 in morning, after 20 mins walk. There I had invigilator’s duty in exam in 6-12 school. There I was told I would not be required then but at 8:10 in 3-5classes school. So I used that time in rechecking the corrected copies of my classes. There I found, I had made innumerable total-ing mistakes! It was so painful to make 1-2 marks changes in copies, registers! Not just coz I had made such mistakes, but also the entire time I was reminded that I am in the same system where 1-2 marks also mattered. Where, no one bothers in terms of skills where the child stands, but whether he scored 65 or 72 out of 200. Coz that would determine whether he passes/fails.

2) When I went to the junior section 3-5, I felt like hitting a few teachers physically. There was a boy in my class who is v slow in writing, so his mother had accompanied him to the exam. She was helping him write faster. Every teacher coming to my class for some or other person would notice the child n mother and say the same thing to him- bachhe jaldi jaldi likha, tum bahut slow ho. I know we all have come across parents and teachers who have worked their best to deteriorate confidence of children, but typically we see as children grow into adults their opinion for themselves change. Hence, all this should not bother me much. Yet it does. Because, I am not an outsider. I am a part of that school, and directly interact with management of that school. But then, what’s the point of getting angry or frustrated with it. Coz honestly, I don’t even know what to do anything about it. Who am I to teach parents to trust their kids and teach them to trust themselves? When, except from my mom, I have never come across any parent who has exhibited this exceptional quality. Then I tell myself for the nth time not to get into pedagogic differences. Lets just strict to skills and cognitive development subject/age wise. Lets not get into issues of equality/justice/freedom within the classroom dynamics. But then english teachers can’t themselves speak 5-10 correct statements in english. They don’t know when to use do/is in a question: do you live here/are you live here. Talking about skills is a joke – at least at the level of teaching. And my organization keeps making materials for teaching – textbooks, handbooks, etc. They keep executing trainings where teachers come unwillingly, sit through the lectures and go home and forget 90% of what was said. No one even bothers to question all this.

3) I carry myself to office slowly. Data analysis work awaiting me. The same work being done over and over again. No one sure about why it is being done and how we ought to channelize it. This is how it is done: An interviewer collects the data from field. A codifier makes crude codes out of many responses (qualitative data) after reading all the filled questionnaires. The codes are re-coded over and over again on paper by experts. These codes are then mapped to excel sheets by computer person. The new codes are again checked by expert and re-coded codes given back to computer person, who BTW uses find-replace in excel to change each code’s value. (for eg is there were 30 codes, which represents 30 answers to a question, originally -> recoded to say 10 codes so that many a codes are clubbed together -> the computer person would find-replace the changed codes by new ones! and this process goes on…) Then frequency is found, and then correlations and accordingly recodification (by the same process).  Finally the database would be prepared. And a report would be written.

I can’t work like this. I do the computer work myself, I need data figures in front of me to make codes. And I hate re-work! But I am the odd one out. What do you do then? Especially when it is been a month since you have joined, and this work is being done since last many many months.

I try to pacify myself by saying, it is just day 0. Tomorrow would be day 1. Hopefully.

Is there any other practical suggestion?

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8 thoughts on “Blues

  1. TZP revisited hai yeh to…hope u would be able to successfully improve the things in part 3!

    P.J. : Is Udaipur also known as the binary capital of Rajasthan?

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  2. Let me remind you that it is usually one good teacher who can undo the influence of 10 average ones. The kids need that one good teacher. Changing systems is a different matter, much more politics, dealing with adults and what not.

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  3. Mridula’s comment is very apt. I mean how many of our bad teachers do we remember? I cannot even recall their faces, forget names. But I remember each and every one who made a difference, in one way or the other.

    More power to you. May 1 be with you :). And don’t underestimate zeros ;-).

    cheers,
    asuph

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  4. Like Mridula wrote at Blogbharti, we need a lot many more people like you in the system. One big thing, I believe, would be introducing accountability. But it is far fetched. I understand your predicament, and all I can say is, hang on there.

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