One of my objectives during my time at Khelshala is to provide direct teaching, coaching and mentoring to the children. As such during the academic component of the day, the Tutors and I facilitate a 15-minute reflection exercise 3 times a week. The rationale behind doing these exercises is to enable the children as well as the Tutors to feel greater ownership for Khelshala and themselves.
We just completed our third week of these exercises with a few initial positive results. At first, the students were reluctant to share their thoughts openly in a group setting on why Khelshala is important, how the program helps and what they can do to improve their experiences.
After feedback from the staff, we decided to capture their attention by incorporating physical and vocal inter-play. Much to our surprise, during the second week Anand, one of the younger and quieter boys spontaneously led the entire group in a Hindi song while the rest of the group were waving their hands in the air from side to side! It was a great moment in confidence building for Anand and the group.
Upon further feedback from the Director of Academics we decided to use my workbook “What Squash Can Teach You,” to focus on practicing English by reading in front of the group and facilitating a reflective question and answer session. Without sounding too biased I am impressed by the children’s ability to interpret and comprehend what squash means to them. Personally, it is very rewarding to hear and see the students absorb life skills through sport.