Today was a huge success and relief for all of us I think. After the usual breakfast routine, we trekked out to Gurgaon. It takes about an hour on the metro and then it’s a short walk to the school. Throughout our trip, the administration, teachers, and students at Kunskopskolen have been very welcoming and helpful with all of our requests. I spent most of my time last week with a Class 5 teacher. She was wonderful. I wouldn’t classify her as particularly warm, but she was efficient and productive, which I really appreciated since those two qualities are essential in order to get all of the data we are going to need. Her class of 22 took my student surveys and I left parent surveys with them last week so I could collect them today. All but 2 were returned to me – way better numbers than I anticipated having!
When we arrived, most of the classes were on break for lunch, so we chatted with the Class 5 teacher for a bit and she checked in with each of us to make sure we were on track to collect the data we needed. Like I said, super efficient and helpful! We took a look around the school, had some tea, and meandered through the library. They have switched to the summer schedule because the days are getting so hot, meaning school ends at 2pm as opposed to 2:30pm. The teacher allowed me to conduct a focus group with five Class 5 students (10-11 year olds), just before school let out. I was a little nervous about it, but I shouldn’t have been. The kids were fabulous and answered my questions with typical middle school age flare. I am looking forward to listening to the recording again because there were many funny little nuggets of wisdom these kids spouted during out chat. I was impressed both with their level of English and their hopes and dreams. They were an ambitious bunch! Prepare yourselves for a city in the sky they will be building with flying cars in just 5 years 🙂
Once the students had left for the day, my classmate Pau had arranged for a focus group with teachers and they graciously offered to answer some of my questions as well. This focus group also went really well and we were able to gain valuable insight into the style, teaching, and expectations of teachers at Kunskopskolen. I left the school pleased and grateful for their willingness to have us and to answer our endless questions.
We left the school around 3:30pm and decided to spend some time in the area because we were told there was lots to see and do in Gurgaon. Just around the corner from the school is a huge mega-mall so we wandered through it and stopped at a few shops for fun. We had also found out that there was a Nando’s nearby! Darren is a huge Nando’s fan and Pau had never tried it, so we went there for dinner (or lunch maybe? We have been eating at weird times of day). The Nando’s was located in the food court area of a huge office park called CyberCity. It again felt like we had been transported into downtown London or DC or really anywhere developed. It is so easy to forget where you are when you are suddenly surrounded by so much familiarity and the typical chain restaurants.
With full stomachs we made for the metro to head home. The highlight (or potentially lowlight) of our trip back was a woman who vomitted just a couple of feet from us all over the metro door/floor. It made for a very quick shuffle and huddling together so we didn’t get hit by any flying chunks. Oh Delhi Metro, how we love you. There is certainly never a dull moment!