Patashala has limited resources owning to its remote location and economic constraints. Qualified Teachers are not willing to travel so far and even if they could the school wouldn’t be able to afford them. Our teachers are primarily high school graduates with limited English skills. They have not attended any formal teacher training.
The best course of action then was for us to train our teachersin-house. We hired “Dhi”, a teacher training institute to come train our teachers. The teacher training would happen in two phases. They would undergo 120 hours of English training during the summer and weekly teacher training during the academic year.
The summers of Hyderabad are unrelenting, so we hired a room which was airy and well ventilated and close to the school for the summer training. Himabala (Teacher trainer from ‘Dhi’) was to train them for their English training. Classes were held from 10 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon, all days except Sundays.
The English training was a great success. Our teachers would have never before had such extensive education. It provided a space for the teachers to talk with one another regarding personal problems so was both educational and empowering.
Himabala’s training was very interactive, peppered with a lot of team building exercises. English training included basic grammar, parts of speech, tenses and Pronunciation. Training would regularly brake into ‘circle games time’, which are games they would later have to play in their respective grades during lessons. Teacher training for the summer concluded with a potluck lunch and a symbolic ‘sowing of seeds’ for a new beginning.