Classroom inside a classroom

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Word Warriors conducted a two-day Instructor Training Workshop on 22nd and 24th of August. Following the workshop, the trainees also accompanied the BookBus on its trip to Evergreen School, Sankhu, as shadows to two of our wonderful Instructors. We hope, in near future, with a little more shadowing and guidance, they will lead creative, fostering classes of their own. Anudeep Dewan, one of the instructors of the instructor training workshop and Usha Dahal, a workshop participant who also shadowed the instructors during the BookBus trip share their experience.

Anudeep Dewan

I get asked a lot by the students I teach, “What do you get from teaching poetry?”. All I can think of is planting a poetry sapling. Teaching poetry is exactly like planting a seed and watching it grow into a tiny sapling right in front of your eyes. It could grow into a tree that can give you a safe space to grow and to explore. And that, probably is the best you can get out of 2 hours of teaching. Back in 2013, when I taught my first poetry class in Surkhet, the nervous instructor in me could not let the writing prompts flow easily. I remember trying out a prompt that I was most comfortable in and getting too overwhelmed that I would forget to mention important things or I would do too much talking that made no sense. Then several BookBus trips to Janakpur, Dhangadi, Palpa and Baglung, a few workshops at schools and colleges in Kathmandu and a workshop from Sarah Kay set things straight for me, and here I am, instructing instructors and still learning. I often talk to my mom, who is also a teacher, about the kids I teach; the cheeky back benchers, the aggressive hand raisers, the shy kids hiding in the middle and the unsure ones waiting for a push. We have completely different ways of handling kids. Hence, I do not think I inherited my teaching skills from her. My journey from being a shy spoken word poet to taking the reigns of a poetry class has more to do with practice and less to do with inheritance.

To expand our pool of spoken word poetry instructors, we had called in applications for potential instructors among the Word Warriors core group. Seven of our Word Warriors attended the workshop, training to be instructors. After two days of workshop on teaching objectives, best practices and classroom tricks and writing prompts that they could use, we took them on a BookBus trip to Evergreen School, Sankhu as instructor ‘shadows’. Shadowing is a term we use for someone who observes an instructor to learn and give feedback (if any). S/he is as silent as a shadow. Naah. This is just me throwing a bad joke. The shadows are also allowed to add in their own examples or things the instructor might have forgotten to say and can assist in any of the prompts that they find comfortable in carrying out. Ujjwala and I took in 3 instructors and 20 ninth graders each and set off to do our thing. Ujjwala had Usha Dahal, Ashma Aryal and Rownika Shrestha shadowing her and I had Kriti Adhikari and Supriya Karki shadowing me the first day and Kriti and Pramod K.C the second.

I thought, having 3 shadows observing me teach a classroom, would have me going jittery and nervous at first. But I guess nothing of the sort happened. Instead, I experienced one of the best poetry classes I have taught till date. As a perk, Pramod and Kriti, our shadow instructors of the day and I performed a poem in front of the students, who left the two days’ of poetry workshop with more than just happy faces.

 

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Usha Dahal

धेरै अगाडिको कुरो मलाई कविता लेख्नै लाज लाग्थ्यो कसैलाई देखाउनु त परैजाओस । लेखेका टुक्राहरु पनि लुकाएर राखिन्थ्यो तर विडम्बना लुकाएको ठाउँ नै बिर्सिने पो रहेछ,मुसाकै रजाईं त भयो होला ।

तर यो लाजलाई डोरी ताने जस्तै तानेर फ्ँयाकियो जब Word Warriors नेपाललाई भेटियो । आँफुले लेख्ने र सुनाउने त छँदै छ तर यसले अरुलाई पनि लेख्न सिकाउँछ, उत्साही बनाउछ र सुन्ने र सुनाउने ठाँउ पनि मिलाउछ । यस्तो मेहेरमानी गर्नुको कारण सबै कविता मनपराउनेहरुले कवितामनपराउनेहरु समक्ष फैल्याउनु नै हो।भर्खर जुर्मुराउँदै गरेका कविहरुलाई विभिन्न workshops को माध्यमबाट कविताको रहस्यमय चुरो के हो भनेर सिकाउछ । मलाई पनि त्यस्तो workshop ले कविता लेख्नमा थप प्रोत्साहन मिलेको थियो ।

तर कहिले सोचिएन कि आँफुलाई पनि अरुको creativity वकल्न मदत गर्ने मौका मिल्छ भनेर । Write to Speak प्रोजेक्टको लागि Word Warriors का सदस्यहरु मात्र पर्याप्त नभएको कारणले गर्दा मलाई पनि From Classroom to Classroom भन्ने poetry instructor workshop मा सहभागी हुने अवसर मिल्यो । त्यो अवसर गुमाएको भए सायद मलाई आउने दिनहरुमा धेरै पश्चाताप हुन्थ्यो । WW instructors हरुले कविताको रहस्यमय जादु सबै खोलिदिनुभयो । एउटा  instructor ले गर्नुपर्ने र ध्यानदिनुपर्ने कुराहरुबाट poetry सिकाउने तरिका सम्म पुग्दा दिमागमा पालो-पालो गरी कविताको कक्षा कसरी सन्चालन गर्ने भन्ने दृस्य कुदिरहेको थियो ।जब हामीले त्यै workshop लाई कक्षा मानेर practically कक्षा सन्चालन गर्यौँ, त्यस्ले नै धेरै दरिला खमबाहरु बनाउन खाडल खनिसकेको थियो ।

अब कुरो आयो हामी participants छाँया बन्नेको ।अचम्म लागेको थियो जब छायाँ अर्थात shadow को रुपमा हामीलाई अझै धेरै सिक्ने मौका दिनु हुन्छ भन्दा। यो shadowing भनेको यस्तो तरिका रहेछ कि जसरी चरा उडिरहँदा उस्को छायाँ पनि सँगै हुन्छ नि त्यसरी नै poetry instructorले कक्षा सन्चालन गरिरहदा हामी पनि त्यै कक्षामा observerको रुपमा बस्छौ र उहाँहरुले हामिलाई केही गर्ने निर्देशन दिनुभएको खन्डमा हामी सहयोगिको रुपमा उपस्थित हुन्छौँ । जसको लागी हामी  Evergreen Higher Secondary School, साँखुमा पुगेका थियौँ कक्षा ‘नौ’ का भाई-बहिनिहरुलाई poetry सिकाउन । हामी WW instructors ले दिएका निर्देशनहरु र workshop मा सिकेका कुराहरु तौलिदै थियौँ ।साँचिकै पढाउन त सोचे भन्दा फरकरहेछ । सुरुमा लजालु तर चिन्दै गए पछी चक्चके भाई-बहिनिहरुलाई उनिहरु कै मनमुताविक सिकाउन अन्तरकृयात्मक खेल र brain storming गर्ने विभिन्न prompt हरुको महत्तव त्यो बेला बुझेँ । मलाई कक्षामा किन हाई-हाई निद लाग्थ्यो तर त्यहाँ किन बच्चाहरुसबै जागरुक छन भनेको त ति promptहरुले गर्दा पो रहेछ।धेरै पटक पढेकी थिएँ तालिम पछीको प्रयोगात्मक अभ्यासको बारेमा तर यो कार्यक्रममा आँफै अनुभव गर्न पाएँ।यस्तो अभ्यासको अभावले गर्दा चाहीँ धेरै professionमा चुनौतीहरुको भन्डार बनेर समस्याहरुको जालो बन्दो रहेछ।

लाजले रातोपिरो हुने भाई-बहिनिहरुले दोस्रो दिन हाम्रो लागी लेखेर ल्याएका लभ र हेट letters ले बडो हँसायो । मलाई अझै याद छ, एउटा भाईले कपालको यस्तो बयान गरेछन्, “तिम्रो त्यो कपाल देखेर मलाई केहि हुन्छ,किनकी त्यो मैले हिजो भर्खर पकाएको डढेको चाउमिन जस्तै छ” । अर्का भाईले लभ letter मा लेख्छन्  “तिमीलाई देखेर यस्तो लाग्छ कि घना जङगल भित्र छ्याङ-छ्याङ झरिरहेको झर्ना त्यो पनि पूर्णिमाको  जुनेली रातमा मुस्कुराई रहेजस्तो” । ति शब्दहरु उनिहरुले प्रस्फुटन गर्दैमा हाम्रो कार्यक्रमको धेरै उद्देश्यहरु पुरा भएको थियो । भविष्यमा पनि आफ्ना मनका कुराहरु चाहे त्यो विद्रोहको होस् चाहे त्यो आफ्नै बेदनाको होस् ,पोख्न लाई उनिहरु आफ्नो लेख्ने अधिकारको सदुपायोग गर्ने छन । लेखेको कुरो नै ईतिहास बन्ने न हो ।

प्रयोगात्मक अनुभव बटुलेर दुई दिनको कार्यक्रम गरेर फर्किएपछिको प्रतिकृया सेसनले  poetry instructor हुन गतिलो खमबा गाड्न WW instructor दिदिहरुको अतुलनिय योगदान प्रती म निक्कै आभारी पनि छु।

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