Monday, August 21, 2017

The culture of our school

What should the culture of our school be like?

I wish first of all that they did not have to wear these grey and white uniforms. The good thing is that even our girls all wear pants.

I wish the school building did not have to have hard corners and straight walls and just look so chunky. The good thing is that there are so many trees. It is always beautifully shaded, many trees are in bloom and often spread bright flowers around on the ground. Whichever direction you look there is a haze of branches and leaves.

I wish that as soon as you entered you saw groups of children preoccupied with painting, clay and mud, gardening, playing sports, singing and so on. Certainly not sitting in straight rows or even at rounds of tables in bare-looking classrooms. In all fairness our teachers do a lot of “activities” and “projects.” The school is full of music and games. But we could have so much more and also many more specialised teachers.

I wish there was a softness to everyone’s behaviour, a genuine smile as they greeted each other, a palpable pleasure that all were together, working and playing and full of joy in life itself.

I wish that any child in the school could be asked to show a visitor around the school, because any child chosen at random would feel that the school was a family that she belonged to and that belonged to her.

I wish that if I was a visitor I would get a real surprise at cormers. Maybe someone has hung up something really interesting on a wall. Maybe a group is rehearsing an unimagined text. Maybe some children are conferring to put together a secret something. I don’t know.

I would like a lot of science on the school campus. All around—solar power and wind power and water power being harnessed in ambitious—but modest—ways and being used. Seeds being nursed and plants being protected as they grew. Everything labelled. Maybe on one side an excavation site. On another an outdoor exhibit. Somewhere an indoor one—maybe a Maths model. A machine. A tunnel. A bridge. A garden. Locking systems. Communication systems.

I imagine children walking around hand in had, in groups, in twos, excited and chattering, also quiet and thoughtful, sitting on rocks and steps, under trees and facing the river, talking and gesturing, maybe munching, laughing….When they see an adult, they do not change anything about their voice and behaviour, and the adult, if she likes, can join them.

We always wanted children to mix with each other, across sizes and ages and sexes and every other difference.That's at the heart of the culture.

The school should be a little world for them.Their own world.

We need to find so many people who love children, learning, adventure, discovery and life to come and work in our school!

- Nita Kumar, Director

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