Introduction to Learning Quality

If I try to define Learning Quality (LQ) then I can come up with almost 35 explanations, because every day I learnt something new about LQ and most importantly about myself.

In the first week I thought, “I am here to teach kids and enhance my teaching abilities (in which honestly speaking I was zero)”. This was the most disastrous week for me. By the end of it I thought there was something wrong with the kids. I started blaming their background as the reason for their misbehavior. At the end of it I was happy that one week was finally over.

The weekends were not pleasant either because of one question which kept disturbing me “Why should a child listen to me?” This question was like a missile in my tent.

In the second week I experienced a lot of conflict regarding questions of teaching and learning and regarding children’s behavior. The deep thought-process that followed changed my perception of children’s behavior. I realized that I was not able to control kids, and just to keep them engaged I was making them sing bal-geets and play games which were not my objectives of LQ. I figured out that my kids didn’t know number identification.  I planned to work on those issues in the next week.

I got the opportunity to visit Vivek’s (fellow GF) school where I learnt something new – that one to one interaction is one of the ways to make a silent child participate in activities. There was a girl (Shabnam) in Vivek’s class who did not participate in any activity. He asked me to work on her. I started by asking random questions about her family and her friends. She was hesitant at first but after 10 minutes she started talking to me. When I asked her to write her name on a piece of paper she said, “galat ho jayega.” I discovered that she knew how to write but was scared to for fear of getting beaten up by the teacher if she made a mistake. I had to invest all my confidence in her to make her write her name. After that she made flowers in my notebook. Happiness came…

After 4 or 5 days Vivek told me that Shabnam had started talking to him and that asked about me. More happiness came…

The second week raised some more questions – Are teachers really not interested in teaching or is it because of a lack of resources in terms of number of teachers? Even if resource is the only constraint, will our model of motivating Principals work?

The objective of the third week was to try alternate ways of teaching. I learnt a lot from Bindu Ben (Headmaster). I tried and tried and tried and finally succeeded! This week was good for academics as well as interaction with children. I worked on language as well as math.

But more missiles lay in store. The latest one let lose by Payal (Programme Leader, Ahmedabad) “Is it our hesitation and fear due to which we don’t ask kids what they want to do?” I know that I never asked because somewhere deep down I was afraid of their weird answers. I tried to work on this question.

During the Fourth week I tried to understand child psychology. Again a new definition of LQ! I asked my father a lot of questions as he is a psychologist. It helped me a little but not completely. I started interacting with kids more and more and I realized that every child is so different and special.

In the Fifth week I learned about my weaknesses, strengths and capacities. Was this the purpose of LQ? I realized that teaching and learning was going on side by side. And that kids are not different from us. When I observe all of us in the office, I can relate a lot of our behavior with kids.

Hmm… And how can I forget to mention some people. Divya, thanks for making me think… Bharat Bhai (Programme Leader, Ahmedabad) thanks for making me realize that I have got some gray matter in my brain. And last but not the least, Payal for giving direction to my or rather, our thoughts….

P.S. I loved LQ…

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