No, my mummy is not at home…!

Slice of Life Tuesday

This phone conversation took place on Thursday 2nd April, after we discussed that the best method of keeping in touch with our students for now was by phone. Schools here are closed until at least April 30th.

Student: (shouting in Khasi) No, no, no, mummy is not here!

Teacher: No, Kitbok, I want to talk to you.

Stunned silence…

Teacher: So how are you, can you tell me the date today?

Student: It’s Wednesday.

Teacher: No, it’s Thursday, but can you tell me the date? (Telling their teacher the date is part of a daily routine at school).

Student: It’s 25th….

Teacher: Of which month?

Student: March.

Teacher: No, Kitbok, it’s actually the 2nd of April.

Student: Oh….

His teacher then chatted with him and also asked a set of questions that we had agreed upon for the first simple introductory dialogue. Speaking to a teacher on the phone has flummoxed some of our students. It’s so not part of their routine.

Kitbok proceeded to answer (of course it’s not a smartphone, so he couldn’t actually be seen), but his teacher told me he answered in such a way that he sounded as if he was standing at attention, phone to his ear and saluting…Yes, yes, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes…!

It’s charming to hear the students’ responses, most of them have never had a personal call before and are overwhelmed by the thought that someone is actually speaking to them and finding out how they are! A couple of younger ones have actually said they are dancing on the spot in excitement with the thrill of a personal phone call!

 

12 thoughts on “No, my mummy is not at home…!

    1. Yes indeed we do, that’s why it’s incredibly frustrating when the network is poor (which unfortunately it often is here…) But at least most students can feel the reaching out, even if it’s only “Hello,….crackle, crackle…”!

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  1. Your slice brings to mind a question I often ask myself: How is teaching going to be different when this is all over? In some classrooms, I suppose it will all go back to normal, but in many I think the element of relationship will be stronger than it’s ever been (and it’s been strong in so many). Thank you for sharing this exchange.

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  2. It is wonderful that teachers are reaching out to their students. I think it is important that the students know someone cares and it brings a small sense of normalcy to their day.

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  3. Oh my goodness, the cuteness! I can imagine the little one on the other end of the phone line! So glad that you and the other teachers are taking the time to reach out to them. They must be delighted & the work you are doing is incredibly important.

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    1. Thanks, it has taken on a whole new meaning during these days! I also wanted to add that I sent an email to your email address, just wanted to check with you in case it went into your junk mail! Many thanks!

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  4. What a great idea! I love that the students are a bit flummoxed. It will be a memorable chapter after this is over, when they think back on the phone calls from their teacher. I loved this line: “A couple of younger ones have actually said they are dancing on the spot in excitement with the thrill of a personal phone call!” That is precious!

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  5. This really tugs on my heartstrings when one wants to consider “hard.” The definition changes when you consider “hard” in different parts of the world. I am struck by the beauty surrounding you and the simple gratitude of the people … and the more formal sort of response to you on the phone. To think of a personal phone call meaning so much to a child … I just want to hug all those kids. And you for all your work. Except, AFTER corona!

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