A Space to Solve Queries: A Teacher’s View

A week before a new term at Swarachna School begins, teachers are participating in training with Sharadindu and Ananya. Starting early in the day, teachers gather for long, hot, and productive sessions on how they can be sources of inspiration in the coming year. The team has worked tirelessly with them to prepare engaging students in their studies.

On 22nd July, students will rush back into the school halls. The construction of the school will dwindle once again, and teachers will prepare to embrace this new year with vigour and excitement. This year, thanks to our supporters, the school will open a library and an innovation lab for teachers and students alike.

In preparation for building our upcoming school library, we asked our teachers to define what they think a library is. Being from rural areas themselves, the majority of our teachers have never stepped foot in a library. Their ideas of what a library is have been created through movies and stories. Those few that have had access to such a space have gone for purely academic purposes. Next month, once we’ve set up the only library in Kantain village, we’ll ask once again to see if their definitions have changed.

Here are a few answers we received when asked “What is a Library?”

One teacher announced, “A Library is a museum, which contains all types of books available for everyone.” Many noted that a library contains, ‘enlightening’ and ‘helpful’ books to ‘increase our knowledge and information.’

Mohamed Parvez, the primary school math teacher, said, “A library is a place where there is a collection of different types of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or refer to.”

Asha Rastogi, a social studies teacher, said, “A Library is a collection of books where intellectuals find resources to attain further knowledge.”

Amit, another social studies teacher, chimed in, “A library is a place where we can receive books and newspapers that add value to our knowledge.”

Another teacher responded, “A library is a place where we use books to solve our queries, find solutions to our problems, entertain ourselves, and improve our intellect.”

“A Library is important for me because it provides me with books to increase my knowledge of any subject that I am interested in, which, in turn, helps me teach without any difficulty,” said Ratish Mishra, the Sanskrit teacher for students in 6th – 12th grade.

Finally, Surendra Kumar, a science teacher added, “A Library is a place where you can find books of different fields and subjects without going far and beyond to search for them.”

For now, teachers mostly defined libraries as a space that houses books. We’d like to expand on that definition and create something that challenges the community, students, and teachers to think critically and explore their imagination.

With one more week left to meet our goal, help us create this space by making a tax-deductible donation through Global Giving here.

Authors: Alyssa Newlon & Ananya Banerjee 

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