Friday, April 16, 2010

A memorable learning experience
At the outset I must thank the School Management for having given me the rare platform to compete at the international level and participate in the TEA program organized by the USIEF and IREX. My travel to the US as a result of this (from September 21st to November 8th 2009) was essentially an enormously enriching experience.

The Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA), a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, organized by IREX (International Research Exchange Board) provides secondary-school teachers from Europe, Eurasia, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere with unique opportunities to develop expertise in their subject areas, enhance their teaching skills, and increase their knowledge about the United States. TEA teachers travel to the United States to participate in a six-week professional development program at a US university. This is followed by a reciprocal visit by US teachers to work on joint teacher-training projects in TEA alumni schools overseas. The program builds teacher leadership skills and provides experience that can be shaped for the participants’ home teaching environments.
Key Objectives of this program
• To contribute to the improvement of the quality of secondary education in the participating countries
• To hone the individual teaching skills of the participants
• To perceive and Understand the key problems and issues of the world
• To acquire and develop skills to provide quality education and promote international peace and co-operation

The days I spent in Purdue University was highly rewarding. We were 24 teachers from Asia, Central America, South America and Africa sharing participating in a Professional Development Program. We teachers shared various teaching techniques, methodologies and assessment pattern followed by us in different parts of the world. The Seminar classes (105 hrs) included:
• 6 hrs of Theoretical Foundations of Contemporary Pedagogy
• 6hrs of Problems of Global and International Education
• 22 hrs of Instructional Technologies in Education
• 6 hrs of Socially-Oriented Projects/Interdisciplinary Approach
• 3 hrs of Comparative Methods in EFL/ESL
• 3 hrs of Diversity and Problems of Multicultural Education &
• 53 hrs of Curriculum Development and Innovative Methods in Social Studies

The Galaxy of Star faculty to who deserve a special mention were Prof: Dr. Anatoli Rapoport, the Coordinator for ‘Study Abroad Program’ in College of Education, Purdue University, Prof: Phillip VanFossen, Prof: Luciana C. De Oliveira, Assistant Professor, Literacy & Language Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, Prof: Dr. Melanie Shoffner, Assistant Professor, English Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, Prof: Dr. Lynn R. Nelson, Ms. Larissa Olesova, Ms Aasta and Prof: Chris McGrew.

The Program included an internship at McCutcheon High School. My mentor Mr. Scott Royer, Advanced course Geography teacher at the school provided further scope for -
• Team Teaching
• Addressing their International Club
• Screening our School’s Golden Jubilee for their students
• Giving a Power Point Presentation on ‘Incredible India’
• Talking and interacting with students of different grades
• Meeting with their Principal
• Meeting with their teachers and Counselors

I would like to place on records my sincere thanks to Mr. Scott Royer and Mrs. Sarah Powley for making me feel as a part of their school during the program.
This was more than just a Teaching program. It was an eye-opener. The Assignments and projects that I turned in during the program were appreciated very well by all the professors. I also got an opportunity to showcase some intricate nuances of Bharatnatyam, our beautiful Indian Art form at the International Dinner party.
‘Cultural visits sustained the academic interests’ as we visited several places of interest that were memorable like Happy Hollow Elementary school, Indiana State Museum and Children Museum, Feast of the Hunter’s Moon’ at the Quia village on the banks of river Wabash., Jefferson High School, Indianapolis State house, A Biblical Play, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Coat’ at the Beef and Boards a dining in theatre, Walking tour in West Lafayette, National History Museum, Science Museum, White House, Sears Towers and The Shiva Vishnu Temples.
Participation in the ‘Annual State Conference of Indiana Council for Social Sciences’ with our teacher Mr. Chris McGrew, the outgoing President of the Organisation was like icing on the cake.
The brilliant team of Dr. Anatoli, along with Mr. Chris and Ms. Aasta made sure that each one of us at Purdue felt at home and did enjoy the entire learning process which I am sure will enhance the very quality of our professional life.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the school authorities, particularly to Dr. Mrs. YGP, the Dean and Director, Mrs. Sheela Rajendra, the Correspodent & Vice- Principal and Mrs. Valli Arunachalam, the Principal for having given me such an opportunity which I am sure will enable me to serve the school better and serve the community at large.

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