After a 6 hour train, a total of 16 hours in the air, and various commutes, I am finally back home in Michigan with enough wifi to write my final blog post. While my previous one was a little abstract and a bummer to say the least, I wanted to talk about two projects that left a large impact on me, showed me something about myself, and contributed to my vague plans for the future.
First, I didn’t expect to be teaching as much as I did. Before interning with Ankuri, I thought I could never be a teacher, despite liking to speak in front of crowds, due to my anxieties around people taking things I say seriously. Being a teacher means people are directly learning (or potentially not learning) information you give them. That idea terrified me. I knew teaching was a difficult profession so I usually assumed I wouldn’t be good at it. However, after teaching English for around 3 hours every day to kids as young as 8 and as old as 16, I learned students respond very positively and respect when teachers can connect with their students and make learning fun. I never got as much out of teachers who took themselves so seriously and this position showed me why this was the case. After my experience teaching in Dehradun, I could seriously see myself teaching English at some point, mostly because of how much art and creative expression is involved in English lessons. Words have so much power and teaching the beauty of that power really made me consider the possibility of doing it again soon.
I also wanted to talk about the plays I wrote for Ankuri. They involved themes like health issues in the region and environmental advocacy and getting the opportunity to experiment with theater for young audiences was incredible for someone who would love to be a full-fledged playwright like myself. I learned a lot about the importance of knowing your audience and refusing to belittle them and treat kids like they don’t know anything. Teaching helped me avoid this as well because I saw first hand how much these kids could grasp and appreciate even with the language barrier. Writing the plays for Ankuri opened a world of theatrical opportunities without a doubt.
So for the last time, I wanted to thank everyone I encountered on my journey for their support and inspiration. If you read any of my posts, thanks as well. Catch ya later!