BHAV’S ARTICLE-MASALA MAGAZINE FEB 2010

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A lifelong journey of learning

7th December 2010

Our classrooms can be regarded as a factory where students from various backgrounds come and take the essence of the spoon fed experience.  This is where facts, information and theoretical knowledge have been passed on from generation unto generation of students to cultivate learning skills and knowledge necessary for their further studies at universities or colleges.If I was to introduce myself, I would say that I am the silver spoon that facilitates the flow of knowledge to students who crave learning and creativity at the different educational stages of their lives. Over the years, I have seen the transition in the curriculum taught to students. For instance, it is becoming more of the trend in teaching that more visuals, music, and colorful worksheets are used in the classrooms to enhance the teaching and learning experience.  When I was in high school, the teaching styles that I was exposed to were great at that point in time, but I was not as fortunate in terms of experiencing the new teaching strategies available nowadays.  Computers were just being introduced into schools, so I did not benefit from the new advancement in learning.

I am sure, in the next generation, better ways of passing on knowledge will be designed and adopted. And even though the main concepts in knowledge may remain the same, the styles of presenting them would evolve.  Teaching through animation has become a huge success these days. Today, teachers are enjoying the teaching profession because of the advancement of computer technology and the Internet. And like a buffet, teachers today can pick and choose teaching techniques and information that can enhance their teaching.  Teachers can utilize many teaching tools, and for students of each level, appropriate educational worksheets to facilitate their learning.

It does not matter where a student comes from; education has become a necessity practically for everyone.  There are many Bilingual, International, Public, Private Schools and Language Centers in Thailand in which the educational goals are equivalent.  Parents enroll their children in Bilingual Schools so that their kids can learn to be fluent both in English and Thai.  Many English Teaching programs have been introduced to many Bilingual Schools, and the number of native speaking teachers in these schools has also jumped significantly over the years.  Whereas International schools are relegated the responsibility of teaching the English language to children, parents have to supplement, either by themselves or by private tutorial, the teaching of Thai so that children do not to lose their Thai connections.  In the teaching of writing, reading, speaking and listening of English, there is a need to strike a balance. Thus, parents must consider carefully where to enroll their children.  As a child grows, the parents should also discuss subjects, courses and interests with him or her.  The various Thai-language programs taught at international schools are by themselves lacking.

Language centers have adequate resources and reliable teachers to assist in developing lesson plans, newsletters, worksheets and activities for students to gain up-to-date facts.  The spoon feeding technique has not completely disappeared as some students are still too used to this outdated teaching technique. This could occur when teachers give in too easily when they see their students struggle in their studies. One way to curtail spoon-feeding teaching is for teachers to put students into groups and have other students help their classmates to increase their learning efficiency. In this way students can always seek help from their teachers when necessary.  Sometimes, it is the students who give up too easily and are not motivated enough with certain subjects, so they prefer the traditional way of the teacher giving them all the answers.  Despite the spoon feeding technique remaining in many schools and centers, teachers do adopt new approaches, such as role playing or the use of visuals to accommodate a more dynamic learning environment.

Having taught for over five years, I would say that teaching has become “edutainment” where students are learning to recognize the requirements of top local and international universities.  I love the books that are used to teach English. I often encouraged my students to at least become friends with them.  Studying for IGCSE’s, IB, or the SATs, IELTS and IBT-TOEFL will need strong dedication from students. Most importantly, the students’ interests need to be nurtured. In short they must learn to like the subjects they are studying in.  As a result, students would have the motivation to pursue studying in the subjects successfully. Teaching and learning have a love – hate relationship which has important implications on the outcome since it is natural for students to feel disheartened with courses they find difficult.

Stress and despair faced by students have become common problems.  But the rapport between teachers and students can ease the problems and help them accomplish their goals in their studies.  New types of lesson plans, such as, Brainology, and teaching software, such as Yenka.com, Seussville.com, Journeyed.com, etc., are available, and all propagate creative lesson plans, worksheets and useful information.  We can utilize them in our learning.
In conclusion, I have no regrets in my profession as a teacher. To me “Teaching and learning has been a wonderful spoon feeding journey of knowledge for decades, and I expect it will certainly go on, as knowledge will be passed on incessantly.  Bangkok City has been a great place to teach and the Thai society is open and provides new development to foster the inquisitive Thai minds in achieving educational standards that are on par with the world.”

Bhavna Khemlani - http://www.ajarn.com/ajarn-street/postbox/a-lifelong-journey-of-learning/ 

Sandals with love

Sandals are very much associated with Bollywood, it represents the love and hate mystery. Whether walking on the beach, the gorgeous juvenile celeb would remove her sandals to feel the white sand on her feet, walking along the shores she would bashfully hold her lover’s hand, play with the waves, and don’t forget the sandals in her hand. It shows the surrender she makes to consent to the love to rest in her heart by letting go of the sandals for a while of her feet. Moreover, what is chatpata (tangy/piquant) is the role the sandals play, “Falling in Love Formula”, very desi style.

On the other hand, the sandals also have a new visage too, the irate action. This is when the hero misbehaves trying to conquer his ego and letting go of the so called “Etiquette”, the heroine removes one of her sandals to smack him addressing the role of women still in supremacy and independence.  Days pass by like a jiffy, the hero and heroine coincidently meet couple of times, they have their lokjhok (sweet bitter arguments), and the hero still doesn’t forget the “Jhapaak” (one tight smack) from the sandal. Eventually, the rain has to fall without even having to be a rainy season for a few minutes. This brings the hero and heroine closer and the “attraction blossoms” as a result, the desi sandals have proved their value…the sandals with love….reminds me of a fortune cookie.

The sandals have been very much in trend with the small screen and big screen, no soap opera in India forgets the beloved, and the worth is very much understood. The movie industry and TV industry in India have very much supported each other. The soap operas’ also have enough zing to play in the heart of million Indians globally.  Bollywood Supremes’ like Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachan, Farah Khan or even Soha Ali Khan have indulged in the small screen winning the heart of many. The eminent bolly homes have realized and recognized the value of small packages. The sandal story still runs in the Bollywood movies, the sandals have and will always be the capsule to a new beginning.

Kitty Party, The Mingling Sensation

Ever since I grew up, I heard my mom talk about social gatherings and finding something to wear at a particular social gathering. Finding time to meet friends can be a hassle for many, sometimes last minute cancellations because of not so important things, formalities or even emergencies have occurred. Therefore, ladies came out with a system and occasion where they could meet once a month and make the most of it. They created the “Kitty Party” (a meeting of women where chitchats are being done and a lucky draw is being occurred).

Kitty-parties have become very popular among Indian middle-class housewives and also budding within the upper classes as well.  They may be described as saving clubs where a group of female friends meet at a regular basis, and where they eat, talk and draw the “kitty”. The kitty party has become part of women’s lives. This is the time where women forget the world and are drawn towards a fluid conversation. Sometimes, themes are created for every new visit to make it more electrifying.  Many kitty parties have been given names to entitle their friendship and celebrate women-hood. I have one too, it is exclusive (will tell you later about it).  To the women, participation in a kitty-party is partly about friendship with other women who are regarded in the idiom of fictive kin as “sisters”, and partly about “winning money” for their own individual consumption. The kitty party brings different worlds together creating a network of friendship, entertainment, new discoveries, abundance of wealth and an everlasting bliss of companionship.

Kitty parties are planned way ahead of time, sometimes, and are becoming popular amongst the young adults too.  In Thailand, kitty parties are being held in many places like five-star hotels, discothèques, lounges, homes, sports clubs, cooking showcase, ice-cream parlors’, bowling alleys, Dream-world, trip to the beach, high-teas’ and even a pajama party.

Kitty parties have brought people a new way to celebrate friendship, exchange nutritious gossips, encourages women power to craft a fresh prospect and encouragement to an open-minded intellect.  Kitty parties amongst the Indians have surely developed temptation to celebrate women-hood and yet another chance to pop the champagne or as you like it…sip it with wine…the everlasting kitty party.

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