Category Archives: Volunteering

New Batch of Students at Ek Koshish!

Classes of children are continuously running at ours. This week, a new batch of five more children namely Mangal (10 Years), Kiran (8 Year girl), Jatin (5 Years), Bina (7 Year girl) and Priya (9 year girl) has started at Ek Koshish.  All children are very happy and pay attention on whatever is taught to them.  Mangal and Bina seem to be very brilliant students and within a period of 4-5 days, they have learnt counting from 0-9 and some of the alphabets.  They did not have any school background nor have their parents any education. They belong to the poorest strata of human society.  Priya is also intelligent girl having a little school background. She has a great potential to learn.  
Seeing these children, one may realise that God does not craft any discrimination while sending souls on earth. It is the society where shackles of rich and poor exist due to human greed and selfish ends, and opportunities are availed by human beings only on this pattern of society based on richness and selfishness. We pray God that we may go ahead in our attempts to educate these underprivileged children. We will be rewarded enough if every one of capable ones could do Ek Koshish (one attempt) to provide them education in their becoming good citizens and a future voice of our country as well as the whole world.   

We also express our sincere thanks to the people contributing with their time and funds in our attempts to take this noble venture ahead.
Ek Koshish One Attempt

Teaching English Grammar to Indian Students

Just a few days ago it was my last day at the school for impoverished and needy children in Faridabad, until the end of the summer vacation, which is fairly short in India: By July 1st, I will be back at the school in my normal schedule. Over the break, I have been working on my lesson plans, now that I have a feel for the students’ capabilities in each grade level. Eighth grade is quite good at picking up grammar concepts in English, especially learning new tenses, so I will continue working on more helping verb constructions with them and finish up tenses for now in their classes. Afterwards, we will move onto clauses, but we will start with some basic subordinate clauses and work our way from there, as I see fit. The seventh grade class is not as quick on picking up tenses or working on prepositional phrases, so I will continue to review all of the tenses with those classes, as well as more practice with prepositional phrases. Hopefully before I leave India in October, we can start to introduce some more topics in grammar, but I think for now that subordinate clauses may be a bit too difficult for them, as they have a hard time being able to differentiate the subject of a sentence, the verb of a sentence, and other objects in a sentence. The sixth grade class is a very clever group of children, and we may even get to more advanced material before the seventh grade class, but I will play it by ear for now. We will continue working on new tenses and recognizing parts of speech. In the fifth grade class, they still have trouble recognizing nouns, adjectives, and verbs, so I will make some worksheets for them, which in which they will circle nouns, underline adjectives, etc. This should help them for more difficult topics to come in the future, like prepositional phrases and adverbs. Finally, the fourth grade class is very weak in English, as many of the students have been held back for many years, or have not had access for many years until now. As such, I will continue working on adjectives and nouns, as these two topics are somewhat strong for them in Hindi, but they cannot grasp a correlation with Hindi grammar and English grammar, which is quite evident in terms of adjectives and nouns. Otherwise, I have another picture from when the doctors were giving checkups to the students. The last day at school was especially touching, as the children literally touched my feet, a sign of high respect to elders in Indian society. It was a moment I’ll never forget, being a part of a wonderful tradition for my efforts working with these eager to learn students. I have high aspirations for these determined children, and hope that with my work here in India, they can be inspired to make names for themselves in society, whether in India or even abroad. Let’s see how my English classes on July 1st go!

Infirmary at the Charitable School

Today at the infirmary at the charitable school in Faridabad, all of the teachers insisted that I too check my hemoglobin, as all of the students and teachers in the school had done earlier today and yesterday. Of course, everyone was very nice, and I did not feel pressured to get the blood test done, but after viewing the equipment and assuring myself that everything was completely sterile, I figured, “Why not?” In the end, I had a hemoglobin unit of 13.3, which they affirmed was in the normal range. Every so often, the charity running the school subsidizes a doctor, his associate, and a lab technician come to the school with some equipment, and they check the health of all of the students. There is also a dentistry station next door in the building, but the dentist will be coming another day to give the children checkups and cleanings. Otherwise, today, after my lesson, a teacher approached me and thanked me for al of my help. She has seen a big improvement in the children’s work ethic, especially in their interest in learning the material. Not a day passes when I feel like my work at the school has been ineffective, as all of the children beam with joy while they greet me hello or goodbye, when earlier these children rarely smiled.

English Teaching Volunteer Impresses the Faculty

At the charitable school in Tigaon, Faridabad, the teachers have been very impressed with our volunteer’s consistent work and contemporary methods for teaching the children English. In India, and especially in this school, most of the teaching encourages only students who can learn from rote memorization. Though rote memorization is extremely helpful, Ek Koshish feels that we can complement such methods with teaching for understanding the material as well, once enough material has been memorized. For example, our volunteer explained to us that he had asked the children to properly arrange the words in the sentence “There everywhere water is.” When the first student responded, he started answering the question by saying “Water everywhere,” when a teacher stopped him and said it was incorrect. The English teacher who assists our volunteer in all of the classes later explained to the other teacher, “Let the student make the mistake and think through the sentence. Then, Justin ji [our volunteer] explains what is wrong with their sentence, and lets them try again so that they can reach the correct answer on their own. This is how Justin ji teaches, so that the children can understand how to fix their own mistakes. It’s been very helpful.” The other teacher then observed him explaining to the child how to fix the sentence, and when he could make the sentence “There is water everywhere” she was very impressed! Let’s see if he can keep dazzling the teachers with his performance!

English Teaching in India

This past week of work at the charitable school has been one of the most wonderful experiences I have had here in India. I have lived and traveled here for over a year and a half now, but helping the students at this school is surely one of the highlights of my time in India! The children are all eager to learn about me and why I want to help them, which I feel inspires them to learn more about other cultures and want to make a name for themselves too. I have been teaching the English periods for 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades individually, making rounds at each of these five classrooms. Before leaving the classroom, yesterday one of the students remarked to me that I am a very good teacher, and he really thinks English is fun now! Although there is a bit troublesome language barrier between the children and me, the English teacher accompanies me in all of the classrooms and let’s me teach, while translating anything I don’t understand. Mostly we began with some simple vocabulary, but eventually I transitioned each of the classes towards learning more complex grammar, practicing antonyms/synonyms, and translating Hindi to English sentences. I aspire to be a good role model for these remarkable children!