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10:37My Inception to Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, Shymkent (by Sonali Sinha Roy)
I was sitting on my sofa and thinking where to venture out for my next assignment. As a lifelong learner, I wanted to experience a new arena of teaching and learning process. Sky was my limit.
I have taught in Asian countries like India, Maldives, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. I also had teaching experience in different curriculum as IGCSE, ICSE, EDEXCEL, CIE and IB. I worked as a teacher, an instructor, IB Diploma Coordinator and am also an IB Diploma Examiner. I had very good offers in my hand from Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and India. Suddenly my eyes went to a job ad as an Economics advisor/ team teacher in NIS. I was so fascinated by the term team-teaching that I accepted the challenge.
I landed in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. Two of the representatives from NIS were waiting for me. I liked the hospitality shown to me. I with other new teachers had to stay in Astana for three to four days to attend the induction program organized by NIS. The Induction started with a ceremony followed by a video about Kazakhstan. We had a seminar on ‘How to adapt to the life in Kazakhstan’. With a team of NIS administers and teachers I headed towards Shymkent, my present work place.
At first I thought how I am able to adjust to a new teaching technique –Team teaching. It was like climbing a steep uphill. I started researching on team teaching and the technique of mastering it. After two months of rigorous team teaching, I started believing myself. As I have many years of teaching experience it required a slight twist in my teaching technique. Team teaching is indeed a good way of facilitating learning as it teaches us to respect, share expertise, creative and collaborative teaching and learning process. In doing so, we learn from each other and it provides us an opportunity to be a “lifelong learner”.
Language can become a barrier to such teaching but the Kazakh/Russian language lessons provided by our local teachers really helped us to boost our moral. We are able to communicate with our school stakeholders and outside the school. It is not as difficult as I thought. I started exploring Shymkent, Turkistan, other neighboring areas and of course our local teachers to be more familiar with the culture of Kazakhstan. I did not have cultural shock as I belong to India. The culture and many words are very similar to my country. My local school staffs have welcomed me with open arms. Now it is a second home to me.
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