01 May Teacher Spotlight: Amrita John
Every Friday we are highlighting one of our truly amazing teachers. This week the spotlight falls on the Head of Languages, Amrita John.
Where are you from?
From the plains to the hills! I was born in Bihar and got married in Mussoorie. I am not sure where my loyalties lie. I guess Mussoorie is home now!
What courses do you teach?
I teach Grade 7 and 9 Advanced Hindi (IGCSE) and Hindi as a Foreign Language Level 2 for Grades 7-12.
How many years have you been teaching?
It’s been almost 16 years now.
What makes you feel fulfilled as a teacher?
Each day several students say “Namaste” instead of the usual hello, and ask in Hindi “Aap kaisee hain?”(How are you?). That in itself makes me proud that they are making connections with me and with the language they are learning. They are able to speak with confidence not only on what we are learning in class but also about their daily life, what they do at dorms, about what is troubling them and what makes them happy to be here.
Once, a student said he hoped that I would be teaching him in the next level too; that also made me feel good about my accomplishments. Another student suggested that I should teach Hindi as a foreign language to university students in America. These encouraging words keep me going.
What are you currently working on in your classroom?
The last assignment that we did focused on public speaking. This was done through a debate on a variety of topics including, “Should schools have uniforms?” and “It’s an advantage that Woodstock School is situated in the hills.” I was surprised to see that the Hindi Level 2 students were able to begin using the following words in the right context: paksh (for the topic), vipaksh (against the topic), behas (argument) and khandan (rebuttal).
Students recently gave a quiz where they had to interview kitchen staff. I was interested to see the different dynamics playing out in an interactive quiz with a partner, as opposed to sitting in class and doing the work individually.
What is your favourite part of teaching at Woodstock?
The Outdoor Activities! They give me a strong sense of satisfaction through which I am able to enhance my students’ love for learning a language. I strongly believe that we are deeply rooted in an environment which promotes learning Hindi in the most positive and enriching way.
What makes Woodstock students unique?
I feel worried when I think what my day would be like if I didn’t get to see Woodstock students. They hold a deep sense of positivity, think differently and act differently! Each day with them is a new story for me to cherish.