Saturday, April 13, 2013

Teaching Matter

So it was "Matter" that i was teaching Science to my fourth graders for the last one week! I explained them that anything, almost ANYTHING is matter if it had mass and occupied space. After thorough explanation, i would still find few doubting Thomases. To make the lesson interesting, i narrated them this same joke that all of us heard.
"What is the matter?", a teacher once asked the two boys who were fighting. Pat came the reply,"matter is anything that has mass and occupies space".
Nothing happened. Silence. I asked them not to worry since it was a joke only. They looked at eachother and smiled back decidedly.
So, i explain the definition of Matter once again by citing many, many examples.  
 "Ugen, is this a matter?", i show him my fingers and point at my wedding ring.
"No sir!". The class laughs at his boldness.
"What is your opinion, DurgaNath?". "Yes sir", he breaks the silence after a long doubtful time. As slow as a snail, answers take long route before it drops off his mouth. I point at his Gho and ask if it is a matter. Blank.
Tell me something, i plead with him. No answer. I repeat my question so that he gets hint. "Gho ya matter inna?"
"No sir", he replies me timidly. Burst of laughter from the class. I ask him once again at random examples. Pen, books, stones, walls, bucket, comb. He gives right answer for half of the items. 
Hmm.. How should i teach?, i almost scream to them.
 "Fold your arms", i order them! "Now listen to me carefully". I re-do my whole lesson.
This i nothing, i tell you. I tell myself. There are 100 other teachers facing the same debacle. I get consoled that few thousands of teachers undergo same turmoil as i do and on a daily basis.

Well, talking of greener side here, it rained incessantly for few days. Even the best roof would give way to seeping rain in your bedroom. In the morning Choden would say she had to use bowls and buckets at various rooms it leaked at so many places. I am much of a diurnal species. It less bothers me to grasp things occurring at odd nightly hours. Despite, when it rains cats and dogs, i naturally get my most healthy sleep.:)
I suppose i am one sturdy teacher who can shout/teach for full seven periods and still lead my house members to cheer up the boys in the basketball match, thanks due to my sound sleeping regime! 
Honestly, it is a complete taboo in my home to let kids be awake later than 9 pm.

Also, we had the first literary competition in our school. It was an extempore speech competition with a large banner pasted on the multipurpose hall. It read: Extemporary Speech Competition.
I excused myself from the hall.:)


  1. Nice & True story! Keep writing!

    Seeping rain in the bedroom reminded me of my days in Decheling LSS, Nganglam 11 years ago when the rain deprived one's only luxury of sleep & privacy in a single room used as bedroom, livingroom, kitchen, altar room, guestroom, everything. You got to shift your bed to the safest corner in the middle of the night. Every drop into the bowl keeps you awake. The only charm was every night I used to have candle light dinner & did not have to attend any phonecalls or emails, and no pollution by cars.
    I understand the plight of being a teacher in the remote Bhutan.I sympathize with Sonam & Choden, and all my fellows teachers working in difficult conditions. I only wish & pray that you get more comfortable places in the days & years to come. Never lose your hope & motivation.Things happen for the best. Those experiences become the wonderful & sweet memories of achievement & pride to be cherished in the later years.

    Coming to the literary competition, Sonam could have corrected the spelling for 'extempore' rather than walking out. I understand that some colleagues get their ego hurt, but this is about creating the culture of sharing & supporting for the professional growth and teaching the right thing. We must let the children know that teachers are humans who are subject to mistakes & limitations in certain areas.How could we pretend to know every thing before our students. This is not at all posible any more with the 21st century students!
    Sorry, if I offend you but this is my personal view I felt like sharing with my fellow teachers. We must work as a team & welcome the support from each other!
    Any way Cheers & Best Regards!

  2. Thanks for your agreeable comments. Personally, you need more than an umbrella for a rainy day, yes?:)