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Musings of a Teacher

As a teacher, one thing we learn to adapt ourselves to is the fact that asking a straight question will not necessarily lead us to straight answers - a child has a lot going on in their mind and so, more often than not they fail to realize that they are coping because of certain incidents that affected them deeply in the past. 

What changed during this activity is that they could not really understand what kind of response I was expecting from them through this starter. As a result, I got the most diverse responses and every child seemingly put in a lot of thought into it. For some, this implied simply sharing things they are ecstatic about with their didi, while for others, it was a revelation of secrets that they didn’t want their classmates to be aware of. There were also some students who deep-dived into their spectrum of emotions and penned down things they usually face difficulty addressing in class. 

The highlight of this activity was that no matter what they wrote on paper, they wanted to share every bit of it with me - they looked forward to my reaction, appreciation and smile to their sheets which further helped me understand their needs and expectations on a deeper level. It made me reflect on the possibilities of a child genuinely needing more attention as their notes mostly cover the responsibilities they hold at home alongside the need to prove that they are competent; it also made me reflect on the possibilities of a child sharing simple things on paper because when they talk about it, they are often, out of ignorance, dismissed by the adults around them.

This activity became a means for my kids to think of things they cherish in life and express it without the fear of judgement; with the hope that their didi will take the same amount of interest in all the things they are also curious about.

Prarthna Jhawar

Educator, Grade 6, Shantabai Ladkat English Medium School, Pune

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