Connections, growth stories and possibilities!

 I work in a progressive school which believes in small classroom sizes, individual attention, in the paradigm that each child can learn, and to give special attention to those who don't get ATTENTION at home. 

Recently some ex students of the school shared some memories from their school days. Right now they are in respectable positions and doing well in life. They credit their success to the attention and care they got in their beginning years in this school. I was the person collecting these stories and these stories moved me. A common thread in them was the feeling of being at HOME that they felt in this space. The feeling to be themselves authentically, to take up challenges knowing that they have someone to take their back if they fail.  The teachers at this school fill in this gap by being the HOME in a way that every child feels secure, comfortable in this space, they don't have to act to be someone else, no need to impress their adults, infact they can just be, they can be curious, they can touch, feel, talk and move which they are not allowed in other spaces like their homes maybe or other schools. This is also because our philosphy has been built after extensive research done by the founders. This school is their way of activism. 

Coming back to my present teaching days. I teach English in Class Nursery to Class 5.

Some of my case studies from last 1 year..

1. When Ansh was a new student in our school, he liked being loud, noisy, run around, pick up fights, and complain about others. We didn't complain or blame. We tried connecting with him and gave him the same attention like others, fast forward three months of schooling and  he has become one of the calmest boys, he loves wishing his teacher when she comes in class, loves to write in his copies, draws a variety of things and cooperates well. He trusts the adults around him and doesn't feel the need to be loud or complain about others. He is getting his needed attention and care.

2. Radhika and Lehar, 7 year old girls, study in Class 3. They did online teaching in class 1 and  class 2 like all other students as covid cases were rising. They couldn't attend and understand the classes very well, could barely write anything in copies. Move forward to class 3. They have attended 8 months of consistent teaching. They are self learners. They like doing their tables, write delicious stories and have a lot of questions for everyone. Connection with the teacher and the real space was so important. Those who speak in favour of online teaching for younger children don't understand their needs at all or have forgotten how they were at that age. 

3. Akshi, a 9 year old child in class 4 is lagging behind in her writing assignments. There is lot of scope of improvement in her work. What has beautifully developed is her self confidence, ability to smile and give a reply. When asked about the feelings about a particular class , she confidently said she felt bored. It is usually difficult for her to reply in English, it still feels foreign to her but sharing that the class was a little boring and not feeling that she would be reprimanded for it , is an achievement for both. She could verbalize how she felt.

4. When asked who their best friend is, none of the children in Class 2 and class 3, could name only 1 friend. All of them said  names of 2 or 3 classmates as every day they work in pairs or in groups and they have developed a relationship with many of their classmates that they cannot name only 1 child as their best friend. It has to be more than 1. Teaching cooperation, team work and no comparison with others, the effect of this is visible in so many ways. 

These are just some case studies. They do not let me sleep at night because they keep me happy  at the possibilites each one has to grow and learn. These children will be able to live a happy and fulfilled life. There is this space which really values them and also values  that which is  inside them and wants to come out. These children feel seen, heard and cherished every day. They are developing high self esteem and self worth. 

Excited to start another day at The Southpoint School!

Teacher and learning activist


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