Success Stories 2014

5 days 20 schools and endless learnings

By Syeda Parvin Shakila, Assistant Teacher (EIA Teacher Facilitator), Kasir Uddin Dewan Memorial High School & College, Singsar, Atrai

  • When I was selected as TF (Teacher Facilitator) for Atrai upazila, I was happy but I also felt very anxious. How would I conduct a Cluster Meeting all by myself? But I knew I had new learnings from EIA training, which built my confidence to be strong enough. EIA trainers, like Ms. Ruma Rebeca Rodrigues in Rajshahi, also motivated me that I can.
  • I was thinking and was always concerned about how can I be a better Facilitator? Keeping this in my mind after Cluster Meeting 2, in Atrai, I planned to visit the EIA teachers’ classes from different schools, the same teachers who were in the Cluster Meeting. I observed that in the Cluster Meeting most of the teachers were shy during their demonstration, and, if I observe them in their real classroom situation, I can identify the areas for improvement both for them and for myself.
  • Having this thinking in my head, I shared the idea with an EIA trainer to help me get the permission from my Principal and also from the USEO. Luckily, I got permission to visit the schools after my school time.
  • For a woman, travelling in rural Bangladesh can be a challenge, when schools are far way, you can guess how difficult it can be! I decided that I will make this happen. I shared my plan with my husband, who is also a teacher of Jagdesh High school. He supported me and agreed to accompany me when and where needed.
  • My journey for new discovery now begins! I was excited. At my first visit I informed the Head Teacher of Bhonpara High School and went to observe a class of my Partner, TF Mr Shankar Pramanik, a teacher at the same school. The Head Teacher also visited the class Nine ‘English for Today’ lesson taught by my Partner. I shared my observation findings in a very positive environment. Then from there, I visited Kasiabari High School, Kaligram Rathindranath Institute and Naidighi High School, along with my partner TF.
  • The next day I went to Jagdash High School (the school where my husband teaches) and observed a class taken by an EIA teacher. After that I demonstrated a class for their learning. When I went to Samaspara High School without prior information, there, I found that the Head Master was sitting at the back of the classroom along with an EIA teacher and observing the class of another EIA teacher. I was astonished; I realized that, if the Head Teacher supports in this way, then the teacher will be well prepared before taking the class. This is a great finding for me.
  • The day after, I went to Nababer Tamboo High School with my partner TF; the Head Teacher Md. Belal welcomed us. In this class I gathered an important learning which I didn’t think of before. Teachers, Johurul Islam and Md. Abdul Latif, both of them used relevant pictures, which were not given by EIA and also not in the text book. They used different pictures on poster paper and showed them to the class. I felt that, if a teacher uses these types of pictures showing real examples, then the class will be more attractive and meaningful.
  • Sankar Pramanik and I went to Chakshimla High School the following day and it was about 35 KM far from Atrai upazila. There we visited a class and discussed the findings with our EIA teachers. The Head Teacher, Md. Munir Chowdury, proposed to visit the nearby Madrasa named Chak Shimla Dakhil Madrassa.
  • We observed a class of Assistant Teacher of madrassa. I was requested by the Madrasa Teacher to take a class in their madrasa. Happily, I took an English class by using EIA materials and techniques. The teachers and the students both were very happy. The Madrasa Teacher shared that there is no available opportunity of training in their madrassa and he will be grateful if he gets such type of support. I felt that, if they also become a member of EIA, it will be very helpful for them and all the students.
  • The last day of my journey, we went to Shuktigacha High School and the school environment was very nice. During this visit we learned another skill which we didn’t know before. An EIA teacher of that school took a class on a story which was completed by the students. He drew a picture of a cave with a lion inside and he marked the lion and cave. Then the teacher asked different questions and students gave the answers on how the lion arranges his food from his surroundings. Then he completed the story with his students. It was a very useful learning to me. If a teacher uses this technique in their classes, the students will be able to improve their listening, speaking, reading and also writing skills.
  • Before taking the EIA training I thought that I am going to be a crazy teacher for too much talking in my classes. After receiving the training I feel very comfortable and supportive by using EIA instruments and techniques. As a teacher I think for our professional development sharing and learning from others are very important.
  • This 5 days journey, which will not be my last, showed me that support from each other can help us improve a lot, at least it opens up many new ideas and learnings. I am thankful to my principal and all who assisted me in experiencing 20 schools and endless learnings.

June, 2014

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English in Action programme is a UK Government
funded programme implemented by the
Government of Bangladesh and managed by
Cambridge Education, a member of Mott MacDonald.