We are proud to believe that our school is the most sought after school at Navi Mumbai.
And why not?
Our management takes every effort to make the education of special children entertaining and fun. The meetings with the staff are held regularly whereby teachers are guiding in correct teaching methods to be carried out at school.
Every festival and every event is celebrated at school as a hands-on learning experience. On the days when children have public holidays, teachers are expected to report to school. During those days, some workshops or lectures by experience personals are organised at school to enrich the teaching methods of the staff.
This week too, while children were enjoying their Ganesha festivals, teachers attended a “Theatre Workshop” organised at school by dramatist Mr. Shivdas Ghodke on 14th September from 1pm to 4pm.
“Todays session was good, it was full of practical inputs that help to develop children’s physical mobility and the thinking ability. (cognitive abilities)” said Rupali, the teacher of secondary class. “This session focused on developing students leadership qualities too”
Sixteen teachers took part in this workshop and each one was having a very good time. There was no inhibition in performing any activity at all. They walked with bent knees, they crawled on the floor, they even mimed. Teaching special children can be fun, they need not struggle to write alphabets, memorise long paragraphs or solve difficult problems, learning can be done informally through play and drama and that was all this workshop was about.
“Truly! It was an excellent workshop for teachers. Today’s workshop was fun but indirectly we learnt many things. Through different activities, we can use it for our students development, we can teach them different concepts using very simple material.” Said Grace, the teacher of pre-vocational group. “Through these activities we can develop students imagination, creativity, imitation skills, they can improve their leadership qualities, enhance their confidence level and learn about team work.”
Different aids were used for team activities that need large spaces. Bamboo rods were used to form designs on the floor and to imagine what activity can be performed using the stick. (for example..rods can be used for drying clothes, shooting like rifle or using as stump for playing snookers). Teachers used bamboo sticks to design a star shape. Collectively they lifted it horizontally and child was made to hop on the shape.
Such big bamboo stick needs larger space to perform such activities, although it can be incorporated in dance and drama with background music. But a smaller stick can in used in the classrooms too and some teachers are using it in their lesson plans.
“I give my students ice cream sticks for making shapes and alphabets and let them imagine things like ice cream and other things, but I normally use it on individual level. But today’s stick therapy is good for group activity. We will reduce the size of the stick to make the activity easier in the class level” said Vidya, teacher of Primary 1.
Luckily there were two children who were also the part of the group. They too participated in many activities and helped us understand how far can we stretch an activity with special children.
Some activities were shown with a rope, 15 meters long and 3 inches thick. It helped us understand the limited force that would be required to form designs with the rope by swinging one end of the rope in different directions.
Charushila found the use of rope in her therapy class as very useful aid. “This exercise is good to channelize energy and also for dissociation of joints.” She said.
Spreading the rope on the floor and making the teachers walk on the rope was a clever idea.
“I liked walking activity. This is helpful for balancing, coordination and muscle strength” said Smita.
Using long ropes in smaller classrooms is impractical but using duppattas, colorful tape or sari fall (as suggested by Grace and Smita Vartak ) would be more logical.
The session went on till 4:30 but nobody complained of the extended hour. In fact some teachers wanted one more session.
“I would personally request Shirish Tr and Sukanya Tr. to arrange more sessions by Sir in which he will give us input on voice modulations, making masks etc. Sir is very experience person who has worked with special children from many years .So his sessions will definitely be helpful for us....” said Vidya teacher of Primary 1 class.