My First Day at the Blind School
My long-held passion for current affairs and love for learning led me to a seemingly unexpected place – teaching a current affairs class for the visually impaired at a local school.
I love to teach and dispense the knowledge I have acquired, and wanted to give back to my community, while learning from a group I may not have otherwise interacted with.
In one of my (many) conversations with my mother, she mentioned about a blind school in our vicinity, about which she had heard some great things! I decided to go and check it out and see if I can contribute in any way. I met Principal Ma’am and shared my passion for teaching and offered my support to the school. She invited me to take a weekly class on global affairs, life skills, and asked me to also strengthen their science lab, if possible. Therefore, with morale high and excitement as present as ever, I relished at this opportunity.
Today, was my first day, there was a hint of nervousness in me. Standing and speaking in front of the students, teachers, and administrative staff was no easy task, especially when I was still learning about how they perceive information. However, I decided to just go ahead with what I had planned and to see what happened!
As I entered the hall, I was greeted by cheers, which helped to calm my nerves. There were more students than I expected, a round 110 of them! I introduced myself and then started our discussion about global affairs. We began talking about the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, which quickly steered toward the recent crisis in Sri Lanka, which we ended up discussing in detail.
A pleasant surprise for me was that, even though the students were from Grades 1-8 (ages 6 to 14), their level of awareness was truly exceptional, especially given their circumstances. They had the hunger to learn, the longing for knowledge, and desire to overcome their adversity to learn. This in turn motivated me to delve deeper and go above and beyond to satiate their raw craving for knowledge.
At the end of the day, even though I was the teacher, I ended up learning more from my students. While I originally viewed my role as unexpected, I found myself in a familiar place, surrounded by people passionate about global affairs, just like me. Their passion for learning and engaging with current events leaves me inspired and motivated, as I seek to build a career in public service, to ensure all members of the community have their voices heard, is paramount.
While at the school, I also visited the science lab and got an opportunity to explore the educational tools that are made accessible to the students with special needs. It was truly incredible to see how far technology has come to provide a level playing field to everyone, no matter what disadvantage they’re born with. I was particularly facilitated with the color detector and talking calculator.
It is truly an enriching experience and I shall continue to do my best to help improve general knowledge of the students and educate them about the world. I have also resolved to improve the existing infrastructure at the school to provide a more inclusive environment to the children. More on this in my next blog!