Nowadays I’m teaching about Indian heritage in my History class. While describing the events, monuments, traditions and skills of olden times, I was thinking if I could give them a deep insight into the topic by going beyond the textbook.
One field trip to the museum would have helped but not much, one round of audio-visual clips would have triggered interest but not till the depth of the topic. There was a constant need to touch the things and feel it.
The thought struck me when we started discussing the skills of weaving and spinning. I was discussing different fabrics with them and then I realized how nice it would be if the students could actually touch the fabrics and realize the difference in each of them. After all, fabrics are meant to be touched and felt, not just discussed. This thought made me think what can be done for this by staying within the four walls of classroom and still exploring the beauty and glory of past. I wanted to surprise my students with something they didn’t expect their teacher would do on just another day.
Somebody once told me that we all should spend sometime thinking over the steps we want to take so that we’re able to deliver better.
Some words can get you started. I began to execute my plan. For me, it was a step ahead than the traditional. It was just a small effort for my children because they are special.
I collected different variety of fabrics, embroidery and thread work from different sources. Arranging them was a bit of task, but colleagues supported enough to get it done. A small exhibition displaying different fabrics, embroidery, other thread work, pictures and artefacts of ancient time with some encyclopedia were kept to enlighten them with something tangible and new. The heritage walk was followed by a feedback session in which I asked the students about what things they liked, what they remember and what changes they expect.
The outcome of the event is that now they look forward to the History class. There comes a time when being an educator we start over-preparing even for the not-so-important things, for we know someone is expecting more from us. The best thing about this Heritage walk is that the slow learners learnt few things out of it and I saw some new hands being raised in my History session which was a moment of proud for me as an educator.