Every good story has a beginning, middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order. The beginning of my story with Dream School Foundation was in last January when my friend and college-mate Karun Gopinath invited me over to sit in his classes at his Rahmat Nagar centre. I was immediately hooked by the enthusiasm and drive of his students. Someday I want to teach them, I had told myself back then.
Last week, I asked Karun for an opportunity to take a class for his students and he suggested that I teach students of Grade 9 ‘The Mechanics of the English Essay’. Today, I arrived at the Rehmat Nagar DSF office with a lesson plan and loads of eagerness. I was not disappointed. There is something exciting about the students who go to DSF, who never run out of a smile. I was not surprised when I was informed that there is a 40% increase in attendance since last January. More than anything else I wanted to be part the high energy learning environment at DSF.
My lesson today was on ‘The Structure of the English Essay’. Like a good story, the essay also has a beginning, middle and an end. The students learned this by studying a sample essay and observing the opening sentence of each paragraph for transitional phrases. They learned some useful strategies to organize an idea per paragraph. They actively learned how to brainstorm points by drawing a mind map for each paragraph with a central idea. They also drew their own mind maps in class and were asked to complete the essay as homework, which they will be submitting this Friday.
Lakshminarayan.V is an English teacher currently teaching the 11th and 12th Graders at Inventure Academy, Whitefield- affiliated to the Cambridge International Examinations.