My Passage to India – part 1

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My head is swimming, more work/life balance is tipsy, my lists have lists. I wake in the night, every night and think of something I need to remember – I really should write them down. I have reminders on my phone, iPad, in my diaries and in my doodle book!
My kids know all about the different projects I am doing both in home life and school.
“When is your TeachMeet mum?”
“6th February at Gaywood School.” Tmwn.wordpress.com if you’re interested!

“Where are you celebrating your birthday, Mum?”
Etc. etc.

As a result I was thrilled that they were with me when I received the following email, as part of my project with British Council Connecting Classrooms:

Dear Partnership Coordinator,

First and foremost, please accept our sincere apologies for the time it has taken to inform you of this outcome. We fully appreciate you will have plans which have been put on hold and apologise for any adverse effect this delay may have had. As you may know we have moved our processes to an brand new online system and with all new endeavours, we encountered some issues which impacted directly on our planned activity deadlines. The issues which have impacted on this application round have been logged and rectified.

I am delighted to confirm that your application for a Connecting Classrooms grant has been successful.

A grant of £1500 has been awarded to each school within the partnership to enable the delivery and development of the global themed activities proposed in your application.

Gob-smacked were the exact words I used I believe. I had completed the application some time in October and hadn’t felt entirely confident that the link school and myself really knew what we were doing as we were both new to the project. Such a long time since then I had kind of assumed we hadn’t done it. But we had! Now I could go back to a country I had grown up in, spent my primary school years in, kept in a special place in my heart, albeit in a new area. Even better, I am taking my teaching assistant and very close friend, Jackie with me. For me, watching her experience the sublime sensations that coat every single one of her senses for the first time will be pure magic. I am so excited about taking her to markets, beaches, temples and rivers.

We are heading to Kerala, the people of Kerala are Malayali, and call their state ‘God’s own country.’ I have not been, but know from family and friends that it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. More than 25% of our school cohort and their families come from Kerala, so I know the people are good, kind, generous and spiritual. They will be thrilled when they hear we are going to their homeland and I am sure we will be inundated with offers of accommodation and advice.

I am so looking forward to meeting Mary, my link teacher, and all the students as we work on our joint projects together. I am excited about sharing our little, pretty and historic town with her when she comes, and again I am sure she will have many people reaching out with open arms to welcome her.

What can I take with me from the children here? Enthusiasm, questions, gifts of stories, photos and ideas for collaboration. What can I do while I am away? Blog daily, skype our school, and possibly others, visit other less fortunate schools and share my experience. Learn from the teachers on the sub-continent. What will I bring home with me? I hope a reminder of how lucky we are to be able to have such experiences, a sense of humility at how huge and varied the world is in so many ways and yet so small that we can be connected by this technology. Photos, experiences and loads of new ideas.

So now for the next step, as we wait for the money to be transferred to the school account, we are looking ahead to dates that will work for both schools. We don’t want to visit when their school is closed, nor particularly in the monsoons. We would also preferably not go before the SATs. Mary needs to consider which time will suit her best too. Much to be done, but an exciting journey to be had. We will most definitely be blogging whilst away, but I will connect back here when Mary has been and when we get back from India.

For a further information of how you could get involved look at :
http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org

എന്നാത് ആകട്ടേ

For now.

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