La Montessori school - Kultan's experience
By Kaltun Hassan
I spent 35 days in India, teaching in La Montessori school Dhunkra. I remember how excited I was to finally be leaving Europe and experiencing a completely different culture to what I was used to. Whilst the journey was a long 10 hours in the air as well as a 13-hour taxi journey to Kullu, we were welcomed with breakfast and a tour around the accommodation. What I learned from my stay in India is that everyone is very respectful, and they enjoy welcoming their guests. I became more aware of the cultural values and norms in India and how respect is extremely important. I was able to immerse myself in the culture by learning phrases and words in Hindi so that I did not have to rely on anyone.
Working in La Montessori school was such an enriching and incredible opportunity. It highlighted to me that teaching is a profession that I want to get into. Teaching was very rewarding as the students were very passionate about learning and were always keen to stay after school to further their understanding of certain topics they struggled with. At first, I was nervous that the students wouldn’t want any help from me in their classes as I did not speak Hindi, but it was the complete opposite! The students made us feel very welcomed by including us in the dance routines they had prepared as well as dedicating songs to us. The students constantly showed their appreciation of us and would always ask us to go to their classes which was very lovely!
I will be honest and say it wasn’t easy at the start. Spending a month far away from home for the first time was difficult to get used to however, I learnt that feeling homesick is understandable. Being homesick is completely normal and shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. I found that the best way to overcome it was by talking about it with the others as I came to realise that a lot of the other participants felt homesick too.
Finally, the 9 other participants on the programme helped me make my experience so much more enjoyable. We all got along so well and had many experiences where we all bonded. We became a family even though we only knew each other for a short period of time. I am very thankful to have had them on my trip as well were able to relate to how enjoyable it was to work in La Montessori School.