From The Principal’s Desk

I have always believed in this statement:

‘Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.’

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

A mother of two, a teacher to more than a two hundred students and a Principal. That’s me!

Not just by way of a philosophy of life but my educational philosophy also borders around the conviction that thinking – creative, critical and collaborative – is what holds the key to an institution’s and individual’s success. As teachers we all should understand that every student can learn … it’s just not on the same day or the same way as another.

I feel this reflection of my educational philosophy would not be complete if I don’t share a couple of personal experiences as a teacher.

I have always been curious about the How and Why of a Child’s Mind – an analysis of the thought process of a child. My answer to this, ironically, came from a Grade 7 student. I had taught her, a few years ago, in Chennai and thought I was quite normal with her in class, reprimanding her for small faults and writing notes to her parents if the situation warranted. When the mother came to me about her class participation, the child shocked me by telling her mother the conversation would be of no use as ‘I hated her.’

It took me many thoughtful days to comprehend the enormity of what she said and wondered how such a nascent mind could come up with so strong a statement. I realised little experiences which were left unsorted had actually made her say something like this! Does this sound familiar…..have you been a part of such an episode when you felt that you have not been understood enough?

Well, I have realised that it is our responsibility as teachers and parents to help children understand themselves first before they understand the world they live in. I think it is important that simple techniques to deal with ‘unsaid and incomprehensible’ problems should be a part of every child’s survival kit.

Go ahead and tell your child this…

“Do you know why that cow looks over the wall?

She looks over the wall because she cannot see through it, and that is what you must do with your troubles – look over them.”

There are times in our life when we feel that there is ‘this one moment of our life’ which we could ‘rewind and re-experience the way we actually want it to be – problem free. ‘Today can never be and should never be yesterday.’ Children should become individuals who are confident enough to experience all kinds of emotions and direct these in such a manner that it has a positive impact on them.

I have always felt that a teacher’s role or a parent’s role does not stop with providing mere textual information or theories of good parenting. An emotional connect is what would make the relationship work.

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

The more inspired we are, the easier it would be to provide solutions to a child to understand himself better. Here is the secret of inspiration which would eventually lead us to live a life which contains pure happiness: Tell yourself that thousands and ten thousands of people, not very intelligent and certainly no more intelligent than the rest of us, have mastered problems as different as those that baffle us most.

The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds. ~Will Durant

The one everlasting impact I would like to create in the minds of every one of my children as long as I exist is – to consciously think with their minds, deal with their fears, address their hopes, make wishes come true and NOT THINK AND LIVE WITH THEIR FEARS.