Gearing up for the second term

durga As I sit down to write this, it is the last day of Dussera, or Vijayadasami, the day when, across some of South India, we pay homage to the arts and learning. In some homes, the books have been blessed by Saraswathi, while in others, music and dance have marked Durga Puja celebrations. By the end of the day, the dandiyas will have grown silent as the festival of Navaratri comes to a close. It’s been a time of good food, visits from friends and relatives, colour and music.

For those of us who have had the benefit of a break from school, it is time to hit the books again and get back into our time table! Depending on the specific school calendar, one either moves into a very short second term which may be full of sports and cultural activity or a frenetic rush to complete the syllabus before the preliminary exams come upon us once the new year begins.

Summoning up the energy to resume work after a break in the routine is not always easy. Children are full of their holiday activities, and particularly in primary school, it is often difficult to get them to switch off from all the interesting things they did and turn their minds to the lesson at hand. To some measure, we see the same reluctance in ourselves, a slight hesitation to submit once more to the governance of the bell and the watch. So we indulge the children as they talk excitedly or when they drag their feet (and their pencils) with some lethargy, back into the fold of the lesson.

For us at Teacher Plus, the end of each monthly issue signifies a very brief pause while we gather up our thoughts again and head straight into the next issue. This time, we take a close look at a young program that has been making waves in a few schools in two states, as well as an intervention of a different kind that brings the words and ideas of the weaver poet Kabir into contemporary classrooms. These, plus our regular features, should give you plenty of start-up energy as you look forward to another packed school term!