On June 6th, I depart for India for three weeks as a member of the Teachers for Global Classrooms program run by the U.S. Department of State and IREX. I will be traveling with 14 other teachers from around the country and we will be visiting the cities of Bengaluru and Delhi, as well as embedding in an Indian school for a week. For me, the Indian school experience means traveling with teacher Robert Lurie from Michigan (check out his blog here) to Malapurram in the state of Kerala, not to far from the southwest coast. At the school, we will have the chance to observe classes, talk with both students and faculty members, and guest teach several lessons. As the global studies advisor and a teacher of 10th grade world history, this trip is a wonderful opportunity to make connections with fellow educators, experience another culture, and learn about other perspectives on both history and education. It's experience that will no doubt enrich my teaching.
While I have travelled to western Asia (Qatar) and eastern Asia (Japan), India is a new destination in Asia for me. Below, in no particular order, are some of the contrasts I will experience during the trip:
- Bengaluru is a city of around 8.5 million and Delhi has over 20 million people. Even Malapurram has a metropolitan population of around 1 million. The entire state of Vermont, by contrast, has around 650,000 people.
- This morning the temperature as I drove into Rutland was around 45 degrees. Last week, the daily high temperature in Delhi was also 45 degrees... celsius. (That's 113 degrees fahrenheit.)
- Our school year is ending in a few short weeks. In Malapurram, the new school year begins next week.
- The average class size at RHS is around 20 students. The school in Malapurram where I will be guest teaching averages 40 students per class.