Humans of Stella #3

left to right
Sherlin(II B.A. English), Teresa (III B.A. Sociology),
Joe (II B.A. Zoology)

Compiled by Samyuktha Shiva, II B.A. English
Image credits: Krishna J Nair, II B.A. English

Teresa

I’ve always been very passionate about teaching. So when I heard about LPP I signed up immediately. I found myself feeling very nervous during the days that lead up to my first LPP class. The students would be just a year younger than me. What if they judge me? Or worse, find me annoying. And then the day arrived, it was our first class. Everyone that entered seemed exhausted and pretty done already. They did not want to be there. The fact that the classes were conducted after college hours made it all the more hard for us to get them to show interest. In fact, some even said the only reason they were coming was for attendance. But then everything changed. We, the student teachers, realized that there was no fun in just textbook learning. We then came up with various activities we thought would be fun for them, including common yet engaging games like Hangman or Hot Seat. As the classes progressed, we all began having more fun and bonding. In fact, this wasn’t limited to just LPP classes; we’d even spend a few minutes together in the break if we spotted somebody from class. At this point I knew it wasn’t just a student-helper dynamic, but one of really good friends.

The students really did make our job easy. Although our class of 25 as a whole was pretty notorious, they were cooperative most, if not all, times. They finished their homework on time. Even if they made mistakes, it didn’t matter because they were genuinely showing interest. They were investing time and work on this, no matter what else was up with their lives, and that by itself meant so much to me and my fellow helpers.

As I mentioned, I got into this for the experience of teaching. But I came out with so much more than that. As cheesy as it sounds, this program taught me a lot more not just in terms of the subject English but also in terms of people, how they behave, and how to deal with and understand different personalities. Even when it comes to the subject English, I learnt a lot by teaching; it has definitely helped me make my base very strong.

Maybe they made this program keeping in mind how easy it would be if the age gap in between a student and helper is a year, because I personally do find it ideal in nature. When there’s a difference of one year, the students have a certain sense of respect towards their senior, however little it may be. At the same time, we’re their friends too, so any doubt that they’dhesitate to ask a teacher, they’d ask us without a second thought.

Sherlin and Jo about Teresa and LPP

We had a great experience over all. We learned so much in so little time. As Teresa mentioned, we were a notorious group of students, but somehow, Teresa managed to form a good relationship with each one of us. She understands each person for who they are in terms of their quirks, shortcomings, positives, inhibitions and what not. Not just that, but over the course of the year she truly helped us work on ourselves to get rid of our fears. One such fear most of us shared, that Teresa helped overcome, was the fear of speaking out loud; public speaking, and even just voicing out our opinions. She also helped a great deal with grammar and just learning new words. One of our favourites amongst all the games she conducted was The Hot Seat! It was a lot of fun, whilst still being extremely helpful. We could actually see a drastic improvement in our vocabulary in just a few classes.

On the last day of class, everyone let out a huge sigh of relief, as expected; we were finally done! What we didn’t expect at all though was to feel bittersweet. It then dawned on us that after all we had actually made great memories and a set of really good friends.

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