Friday, August 23, 2019

Touch to soothe

As a teacher, words flow out of my mind and my mouth at all times. Today, my words aim to express the very beautiful and effective power of touch, that, of gentle touch.

Recently, my role as a preschool teacher started. I love this role. I love the many perks that come with it; the many stories that I get to hear every day from my children, that of horses and of ghosts, of bindis and of mothers, of dogs and what not. These stories are rich and fertile and they keep building up. The light in the eyes of these storytellers and all their affection, gives me strength to keep creating stimulating environments for them, even on days when I am facing my personal demons or physical struggles of this physical world.

Every year, in the month of July, there are new buddies who join us. In the beginning, sometimes they don’t want to leave the comfortable, secure and familiar warmth of their parents. When they are left in this new environment, some are excited to see many friends and many things to do and there are some who are unhappy, missing their mothers much. I am a mother and I know how much my daughter needs comfortable/ familiar arms when she is in distress; every morning after waking up, every time after a fall, after an upsetting situation, all she needs is a hug from her mother or a rub on that hurt, which eventually she will offer herself.

As a preschool teacher, when I face this situation, I use the same principle, to make that child comfortable and feel at home, in this new environment for her. I use my hands, my arms to hold them, or to pat their backs, their heads, their shoulders and so often it does its magic. I have to don many hats in this form. I am a caregiver at times, an understanding friend at times, a playful child at times making the same kind of laughs that they also enjoy making.

In my class, I hold Pradyumn, 3 years old, in my arms because that soothes him for sometime. I let Samriddhi, 3.5 years old, hold my waist when she has had a fight with one of her classmates. As a class, we all have a fist five to test our strength after we have had our tiffins to test if we had some energy after finishing our snacks.

At every step, gradually, I aim to empower them to take control of their bodies, to let them express their emotions safely, to let them master all their life skills; self help routines along with discovering  the joy in learning to read, write and express.

In case you are wondering about Academics, our 3 year olds are preparing for all the work in English, Hindi, Maths, Social Studies and Science by developing their physical, emotional and intellectual skills to study these subjects. They are doing content work orally and through projects while getting ready to write.

The next time when you meet a toddler in distress, offer him a handshake, or a hug, a pat or any thing else that he would like, offer it with trust in your offering and wait for the MAGIC to unfold.

The preschool at Southpoint School feels like HOME for whoever enters there. There are comfortable mats to sit on, the lights and fans provide enough lights just like our homes, with enough room for sunlight and fresh air, avoiding the artificial lights which have become so prominent at many places. The Housekeeping and the other centres have materials made of real things like wood, glass, jute, bamboo, paper, etc and they have different surface and textures and they feel nice and homely. We do a lot of work with clay in creating different objects and creatures of our imagination. We work with sand and with water. It is a world for children. Visit us to know more at N 1/70 Nagwa, Lanka, Varanasi.

Preschool Teacher
Vidyashram- The Southpoint School


  1. First of all thanks a lot for your such nice blog which you have written by heart and sensitively. Your each words conveying your sensitivity.
    We also feel same.

    Your beautiful lines......
    let them express their emotions safely, to let them master all their life skills.....etc. touched a lot.
    Thank you so much Harshita.


  2. Very true Harshita,my child Abhisht is a testimony to that; from an all time crying school child to a more school socialised guy, he's now at the South Point.I understand how difficult it's to lovingly control a highly energetic kid like Abhi, and he must have given a tiring schedule to you teachers, there.I'm grateful to his teachers for his great social and academic evolution.

    I believe that he'll imbibe best of the traits of humanity, logical thinking and decision making, besides an extensive knowledge of subject contents and different perspectives. I believe, at the South Point, he's in the safe hands. Thanks again to the team South Point.

  3. Being the mother of an introvert (very) and sensitive child, it was quite a task for me to pick an appropriate school for him. South Point was my first, rather only, choice and it is turning out to be one of my best decisions. I sincerely hope more parents get to know about your approach and give their children a truly happy childhood by enrolling them here.
    - Shweta (parent)

  4. Wow Harshita! Very true. And not only students but also as a teacher I remember several times being accompanied by the experienced members of the school, like Irfana Ma'am, whenever I felt low, sometimes guiding while sometimes simply sitting beside, gave lot of strength to get up and show up again. Thank you NIRMAN.

  5. What a wonderful post...thank you! I appreciate so much the magic you have woven to make Andres progress in such a short time from crying all the time for his mama on the first days, to loving school and talking enthusiastically about everything he has done there. He's a very high-energy child, so I also appreciate all of the patience you are showing in helping him to settle into a routine. I was fortunate to have worked with marginalized children in Mexico and then for three years in public primary schools in the US, where I tutored immigrant children who were at risk of failing because they had little support at home, because of language barriers, because of being in large classrooms with overworked teachers. Seeing them transform when given just some individual care, love and attention was by far the most rewarding job I ever had. I believe that Preschool and Primary teachers are the hardest workers in the education field and the value of their work is not recognized enough - particularly when they really put their heart into it as you all do at Southpoint... Thanks again!