Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Our new Café manager pens her feelings about a kitchen staff member

I have never met anyone like Rita didi before. Well, in these three months I definitely can't vouch that I know a lot about her but whatever I know about her is enough for me to be amazed by her professionalism, her poise and her love for cooking. When I was new she hand-held me and taught me how to do accounts. I used to make so many mistakes; she would patiently tolerate me and maybe she wondered in what hands the café has been given to.

Whatever work I talked about, she did it instantaneously without any procrastination. Tried new recipes, showed all the interest in cake decorations. One day we had to bake a cake for one of our staff member’s son’s birthday and I hesitated using frosting because then it would make it more expensive and it was being sold for a subsidized rate. She chose not to listen to me and make a frosting to decorate it her own way. I felt so small in front of her and in front of the way NIRMAN operates. All that had to be done was to whip up a little bit of butter with a little bit of sugar with a lot of love.

I could see that love in her for her colleague and his child. Didn’t cost us too much anyway. She takes initiatives, tells me what has to be done how. I rely on her. I am her baby. I cant do much without her neither can I do much without the other staff members.

The world is unfair at large. If she would have been well educated she could have been some company’s CEO, who knows.

- Gunjan

(manager, The Southpoint Café)

Monday, January 24, 2022

Challenging to challenge!

 At Vidyashram we make the process of learning fun and that too without compromising the learning objectives. In the past week I used crossword puzzles as fun and engaging tool for revising the geography chapters with class 6th,7th and 8th.

The processes of solving crossword puzzle gets the child to carefully read the hints and makes them look up for word meaning to completely understand the hint, all this effort is put to reach to the reword! the missing word. A challenge they face sometimes is to spell the word correctly and hence a deliberate effort to recheck the spellings is put, since a wrong spelling could lead them to a dead end with next connected word in the puzzle.

Solving a crossword puzzle related to the ongoing chapter was fun and children enjoyed it, but taking up a challenge is not challenging enough! So we decided to create our own crossword puzzles and put it up as a challenge to others. Since challenging someone is more fun!

In the process of making a difficult crossword puzzle children did not just stick to the book but went back to other reading materials and class notes that were provided to them.

Knowing the correct answer is one of indicators of the fact that the child has an understanding of the topic being covered but formulating clever (intelligent) questions from the topic indicates and provides a broader learning opportunity i.e clarity of the concept as well as ability to write it with clarity. Formulating the hints for the crossword puzzles gave the children the opportunity to play with words and come out with interesting and challenging hints.

To sum it up, the puzzle making activity was as engaging as it could be, keeping the children busy with writing work is a challenge and it becomes easy when integrated games and puzzles.

It was great sharing with you all about my class room update here. Will come back with more soon!

Thank you!


(English and Social Studies teacher, classes 6-10)

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Our Rituals

I have a personal ritual that I have created with my daughter. Every night, when we are tucked in bed, we say our gratitude prayer to our Creator. I say five things I am grateful for and my 7 year old daughter says five things she is grateful for. I love this exercise. My daughter comes up with very amazing things, such as one of the days she said about different colours of people and that she is grateful that some are dark, some fair and there are so many differences to celebrate. I had created this exercise with an  intention, to help her see how many things we already have and we don’t need new clothes or toys to feel happy as false advertising on television always promotes and children start believing it.

She is a student of Vidyashram-The Southpoint School. At Southpoint there are various rituals that children learn and follow in class. A ritual is any practice that is done everyday consistently so that it becomes part of our consciousness, it becomes a habit.  These rituals teach them to be responsible and active beings of their immediate environment. Some of the rituals include arranging own desks, cleaning own desks and chairs, cleaning up one’s own spaces such as classrooms and play areas. Such simple rituals are very powerful ones. They solve many problems existing in our country that of patriarchy, value of work done by hands, gender discrimination, waste that humans create and how to manage them.

If each child picks up the right habits, he becomes an active and contributory citizen. 

- Harshita

(Preschool and Primary school teacher; publicist)