As our academic year progresses, we welcome many new staff members. The Woodstocker caught up with some of them to chronicle the first chapter of their adventures.
Where are you coming from and where are you right now?
I am originally from Bangalore but it’s been over 2-3 years since I visited. I have been in Mumbai and for a short while in Chennai. My family lives in Chennai so I visited them for a while then came to the hillside in Mussoorie. Right now I am on campus living in an apartment located right above the school gate.
What subjects do you teach?
I teach Integrated Science for Grade 8 but for the Grade 10 Students I teach Biology, Physics and Chemistry separately. I primarily teach in the MYP.
What’s different about Woodstock from the last place you worked at?
I can see nature when I look out. While I was working in Mumbai, whether at school or at home, I could only see concrete buildings and hear traffic. But here when I look out there are so many trees. I can see hills and mountains in the far off distance and I wake up to bird calls instead of traffic horns and sounds. And the air itself is very different, Mumbai is very polluted but here I’m able to breathe fresh air. So that’s the immediate big difference from where I last was.
What are your goals for the academic year?
With Grade 8, I am the only teacher so I want to establish the MYP Sciences in a better manner. I want students to get more into the inquiry. Moving away from cramming content to enjoying the process of learning. Understanding that it’s so much more than learning a bunch of facts, and instead getting them to do investigations, work in groups, ask questions and share with each other. I feel like interacting with each other in a given task really helps to make connections to what we already know and bring them to the classroom even if it’s virtual. Just wanting to find out things through observation as opposed to being told what to know.
Are there any fun facts about you that you’d like to share?
I am a big Potterhead and something that people will be surprised to know is that I have never watched a single Marvel/DC movie or TV show and have never read the comics.
What’s one thing you like about Mussoorie?
There is so much to discover. What I found surprising was wherever I explore, I am still close to an entrance to Woodstock so I can’t get lost. I like the fact that the whole school is spread out and not confined to a single building.
What’s one thing you have noticed about Woodstock students?
They love homework, at least in the middle years. They keep asking for homework and I’m like ‘Really? You want homework?’. And it’s difficult for me to come up with homework because I like getting them to do things in class like working together. That is something very, very different from other schools that I taught at. Kids don’t like homework and there are policies for not giving homework, but kids here really love homework so that’s something that really caught my attention.
Raymond Chirwa is a staff reporter
Edited by Rewa Nyangmi