Government School Teachers in Delhi

(We haven’t gotten permission to use the video of today yet, so here’s a clip from my day off in Delhi to enjoy!)

All the research indicates that private school teachers, even in low income areas, are much better than government school teachers. Hence this week we were a little apprehensive about training. But screening and testing teachers before they were allowed to attend seems to have worked as we ended up with a very professional lot.

There were still differences though. Last week the private school teachers were eager, almost hungry, they were full of passion, but they often lacked some basic teaching skills. Today it was sort of the opposite, the teachers were all up to speed on teaching techniques and theory (something you don’t often see!) but the class felt a little, lethargic I suppose. So quite a lot of time was spent on highlighting the efficiency side of things, that we don’t have infinite time and how to make the most of it. They also have not got the hang of praising the kids yet, they were teaching me Hindi and all I got was a “yeah, it’s alright I suppose” reaction!

I’m writing this in the first break, so let’s see how they go (and how fast!) when we give them the lesson plans to work through. Let’s just hope they can break through the noise from the traffic outside and the temple next door!

Ahhh… yeah that didn’t work did it! They were doing the usual thing of pretending to read but not making any effort to understand the lesson plans. They said they were enjoying being students. Well yeah, but they’re here to learn how to teach it! I even had to do some stuff on body language as they were all slouching over the chairs within an hour of their finish time (of 2PM!) This was just like government teachers in Japan and nothing like the group last week!

It’s days like this that make me feel “why do I bother?”, especially when I have so little time now. It is very much like flogging a dead horse. I guess the difference is that I at least give my 100% to it! And anything has to be better than how they are currently teaching!

OK, let’s see what happens tomorrow…

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

7 Responses to “Government School Teachers in Delhi”

  1. Margit

    Yeah!!!!
    Why do I bother?

    It really sucks sometimes. And this “sometimes “is always when “government schools” or BoEs are involved.

    “Why do I bother?” This is almost a Koan . If I’ll get the answer I might be enlightened.

  2. Cathy

    You never know when you’ll inspire someone – and if anyone can make a differece with those government school teachers in Delhi, it would be you, Richard. You rock!

  3. kobekid

    Any chance of talking with some reporters off the record? I’m sure the media in India is aware of the Boston Globe article…

  4. Lines

    Richard, please, don’t be sad,maybe those teachers were tired, maybe they have never seen before a training teacher as super as you are or merely they are shy.
    I work in a government school in Spain and I’m lucky because in my school I can jump,play, sing…,but some English teachers can’t do the same because the school wants to be as a grave.
    Go on training in the same way, I’m sure some of those Government School Teachers are going to teach your songs, games and lessons in general.
    GOOD LUCK for today.

  5. Gumby

    Richard, I can really understand how you are feeling. However, it is just as Cathy wrote. You never know when you will inspire someone, and that one person has the power to influence 30 times more students!

  6. Claudia

    I wanna say I “bother” because of the kids. Honestly though, it’s a little something inside me that fizzles out through me as bits of energy and as a need to teach. Oh it is so discouraging on those days when you can tell no one cares. But those days make us appreciate the good groups who will listen, participate, open the brain and offer tips of their own. Hang in there. You are inspiring me to keep going too. 🙂

  7. lee

    Hang on there Richard. You may have felt pretty let down by the responce and callous atttitude from those teachers but look at their point of view. The teachers are probably and never had the chance to be exposed to the international community and your form of teaching nor are they internet savvy.

    I believe sometimes the background of the teachers and their surrounding do have a major role in their character.

    Your method of teacher has inpired many teachers around the world.

    So don’t ever give up.

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