When I sat to write a post on the initiative (write a letter to a ten year old) by Blogadda.com, I thought of some of my students I taught in the last eight years.
Ten year olds are in class five or six.
When I taught class Prep, which is just before class 1, I used to be with my students for 3 hrs everyday. The time-table I was given to follow was like: After assembly a written work (Eng, Hindi or Maths), recess, one more written work and activities like story telling, drawing etc adjusted in between. One day Samarpan (Sam) came to me and told, "Ma'am, after recess and outdoor activities we don't feel like writing, So can we have two 'Writing' periods consecutive and after recess only outdoor and other activities?" He gave me some other genuine suggestions also.
A few years later I was the class teacher of class 3. My class was a mixture of the kids of ultra rich, rich and neo rich parents. On Teacher's Day one of the parents sent a big cake with a lot of icing and a cherry on the top, which made me shudder as dividing and distributing it among 42 children was a messy job. No matter how affluent the family child comes from is, he would always want the biggest piece and the cherry. While I was drawing imaginary lines on the cake, Nupur, with her cherubic smile came and asked me, "May I ?" and gently took the knife from my hand. First she told everyone to take their seats and patiently cut the cake and called the kids, one by one. She instructed them to pick a paper plate before coming to her. Within no time my work was done. Not that two monitors and some other kids were less capable but they let her do everything, without giving any 'expert's comment'. I wished we grown ups also could learn to run our institutions, state and country so amicably.
In the same class, Jhanvi, a shy new entrant, came to me during recess and told that she was unwell and wanted to go home. I told her to go to infirmary where the nurse would decide if she could go home. In the fifth period I was shocked to know that Jhanvi was neither in the class nor in the infirmary. Only a fellow teacher would know my plight. I was about to do the needful when Akarsh, a hefty and active child checked Jhanvi's bus number from the attendance register saying this is the time buses ply for primary children, she must have boarded hers, and ran down from the 3rd floor to the main gate.There he waited for the particular bus among many similar buses. Finally he spotted her. My heart sank when I saw him coming alone to the class. He casually informed me that he had dumped that silly girl into the infirmary. If she would have gone home in the bus that day, the bus conductor would have got the pink slip and I would have been in a difficult situation.
Pranjali, aged 9, made me smile when she wrote "I want to be famous. I love to dance . I want to be an actor and win many awards. I am ready to work hard for it." Who doesn't want to be famous but only few have the courage to say it. Then she wrote she wants to be a doctor also, back up plan? She is very good in studies too.
There are many students who are close to my heart for being intelligent, street smart, with tremendous presence of mind, mature and my little devils! I have faith and confidence in them. They don't need our preaching. We just have to nurture them with love and care.