Some of the most satisfying sessions I’ve had as a Cloud Granny interacting with the Indian kids through the School in the Cloud program, have been when kids emerged as communicators and leaders and when kids engaged with kids.
So I loved the session yesterday in which my Grade 5 group in Phaltan (Maharashtra) connected with my Grade 6 group in Delhi, because I had accidentally double booked my sessions. Despite bandwidth issues, we managed a three-way connection, although I turned off my camera and only dipped in and out to observe now and again. The two groups sang and danced for each other, they communicated by texting as well as talking and a good time was had by all (or so I thought.)
Both groups exploring art last week (separately)
Initially my impression of the big ideas from the session were:
- Step back and let the learning happen.
- Two groups of children in different places can figure things out together.
- It can be surprising which kids take the lead, when given the opportunity.
But at one point I got a text message from Phaltan saying ‘We want to talk to Edna Granny’ and later, Madhura, the coordinator, shared that when she looked in towards the end, the kids were getting bored because nothing was happening. So I need to add these messages:
- Students need a voice in deciding on the learning experience.
- Be prepared to abandon your plan in response to student needs.
- There is a fine line between letting go and knowing when to step in.
On reflection, watching the videos, I realise that when the Phaltan group became disengaged, the other group was searching for the music for their dance. So maybe I should add:
- Be careful of making assumptions.
- Communication is vital.
Not a session goes by with that doesn’t teach me something about the children, about their world, about learning or about myself. I just discovered these reflections from six years ago, when I first got involved in the magic…
4 thoughts on “Lessons from the Granny Cloud…”
Great learnings from your work – I love how you were able to adapt and reflect and then adapt again and re-think. This is what learning is all about.
I am very interested in how you got to be a cloud granny!
Thanks Edna, for sharing your experience and for tweaking my curiosity.
Anyone can apply. Here’s the link theschoolinthecloud.org
I really enjoyed reading your blog. It is amazing to me what children can learn from each other. I too understand that sometimes we must adjust our plans that we were going to teach. Each child is different. Everyone learns at their own rate. Some children as stronger in one subject than another. I do believe that learn is for some takes time. I think it is absolutely amazing to teach children. I have noticed that by just watch I too am learning something. Each and everyday they are teaching me as I am teaching them. Do you feel like the children are teaching you during the sessions? How do you help the kids that are learning at a different rate than the others?