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Re- Learning the Simple Pleasures of Life from Seven Year Olds

On a busy Tuesday, my second graders, usually their naughty selves, were excited to come to the class. After all, it was the first class of the day, their Circle Time. It is reassuring to see children who like coming to school and are joyous. At the tender age of 7, how would they know, this is such a privilege, to have a safe and happy environment in their classroom, which many children do not have? Perhaps, it is prompts and activities that we, teachers do during Circle Time,  that help build personal relationships that go beyond the four walls of the classroom. 

As a part of the Teacher Writer Program at Via News Didi that I am a part of,  I was told to experiment with the first prompt in my class - ‘If you could tell one thing to your teacher about yourself, what would that one thing be?’


I had left the canvas open, gave the children half a minute to think through this question and tell me the first thing that came to their mind. Most of the answers that my seven-year-olds gave were about the smallest of things, but things that seemed to matter to them, the most.  

A student shared, “I got a new piano teacher, and I am really excited to learn more songs!” 

Another student shared, “I am bright, creative, intelligent and fun loving.” Making connections to this, another student added, “Miss, she has used describing words”! 

In every class, there are groups of students who love to play a sport and most of them naturally flock together. One such student, part of a after-school co-curricular program shared with a twinkle in his eye, “I was the best bowler. I took more than 5 wickets just yesterday!” There were four more students who shared about their sports and wickets they had taken.

 

Students also shared how they got a new toy or a new restaurant they visited. Another student, who had a pet cat Oreo, shared that it was Oreo’s birthday on the day. Just like we have a ritual to sing the Birthday song for each child, this time, for the first time, we as a class, also celebrated Oreo’s birthday. This remained special for all of us. Some of the children, including me, shared how old their pets turned. The student proudly shared, “She turned a whole of three years.” Most children giggled and said, “Miss, it is the first time that we have clapped thrice for someone. This is exciting!” This entire prompt left a smile on my face and it remained a good start to the day. 


Had I not asked this prompt, I would have not learned these mundane and not-so-mundane things about my students. I would have never learned that Oreo turned three, or learned about a student's new Piano teacher, or how proud a child felt while taking those five wickets. With this, my inclination towards a rich Circle Time, using prompts that aid Social and Emotional Learning that help in building a positive classroom culture grew. It made me left wondering, how the smallest of things make children proud and how playful children are. Oh, thank goodness to that innocence!  


How I wish, I could go back to being a child and be proud of the smallest of things happening in my life too. Yet again, I learned from children, how I can enjoy the simple things in life.


Written by Deepti Khera

Educator, Grade 2, JBCN International School, Chembur, Mumbai


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