Nobody is Perfect - Acceptance Wins The Day


I really liked the book “Is your child ready to face the world?” by Dr. Anupam Sibal. This book has taught me how to be a real teacher, a teacher who sees her students as her own children and works for their all-round development. In this book, I particularly liked the chapter - ”Making Mistakes, Accepting Flaws”.


Though it is common knowledge that “nobody is perfect”, the acceptance of this adage is hard to come by. This is especially true in case of students as they are at a learning age, one that allows them to make mistakes. But as a teacher or as a parent, it is our duty to understand and evaluate their mistakes. It is crucial to understand why the mistakes happened in order to guide them towards the right path so that they do not repeat them again. Even if they repeat the mistakes, we should not get hyper or angry because if we do, they wont come to us next time they have a problem. We should put ourselves in their shoes and then think for a solution that is best understood by them and suited to their problem. When I was a student, I troubled my teachers too. But they understood my problems and helped me overcome and correct the mistakes I made. In the same way, I am here to understand and teach my students to learn from their mistakes. I am not perfect and I guess nobody can be, as we are always navigating the path of learning.

Kanishk is a student of the class I taught last year. He is an excellent student - punctual and hard working. Once he came to me with a problem as he could not understand the question. Though I explained it several times, he just couldn't follow. This annoyed me and I shouted at him for not understanding the concept. It had a very negative impact on him. He scored the lowest in the class test the next day. I walked up to him and asked him why he hadn't studied. He started crying and said that he feared I would become annoyed at him again, due to which he lost the courage to come up to me and ask again. Deep within I realised it was not his mistake but mine that he could not come to me. The better way of handling it would've been to explore other ways of explaining the concept to him in a patient manner.

Acceptance gives us the opportunity to communicate better with children and deal with them more patiently. It gives them confidence and encourages them to work on their flaws.

~ Vimmy Rajpurohit is an Educator at The Fabindia School. Her email address is vrt4fab@gmail.com 

Don't Compare - Every Child Is Different


Avoid Pressure To Work Better

This book is a wonderful example of how parents and teachers can prepare their child to become a good citizen. It elaborates on how we can deal with children's challenges in future by sharing our own and others' experiences with them. The numerous qualities described in this book, such as courage, hope, determination, and humility, are the values that every parent wants to see in his or her child. It is the duty of teachers and parents alike to inculcate these qualities in their children in order to help them achieve their goal in life. A child must have courage to give his opinion and stand by what he believes in. He must also possess the ability to accept the reality and truth whenever he is wrong. It is important that that we learn from our mistakes in order to prevent them from recurring, and the first step in this regard is accepting them. I would like to share an example of how this book can help us in our classroom.

There is a girl in class V - Navya. When her teacher distributed the exam sheets to the children, Navya did not secure the marks that her mother was expecting. Her mother had told her that she must get more than 90 marks in all subjects because she had made her study hard. Navya was under pressure as she feared she'd get scolded and punished if she told her mother about her marks. As a result, Navya gave fake scores to her mother. When Navya’s mother came to take the report card, she told the class teacher that this time Navya had got more than 90%. The teacher thought she had misunderstood the grading system. She explained it to her. Navya’s mother was shocked that her daughter had not been honest about her marks in any subject. Her actual score was less than 70%. She was very angry and decided to give Navya a hard time. She told the teacher that she had taught her daughter well but could not understand why she got such low marks. There were students who had scored full marks. The teacher asked her to calm down and ponder over why Navya lied to her. Her mother responded by saying that the fear of getting punished must have caused her to lie.
 
The teacher tried to explain that Navya was left feeling under pressure due to this. All children are different and their performances are also different in every subject. Navya may have interest in other activities and should not be compared with others. No one is perfect in this world and everyone makes mistakes. The same applies to Navya. The teacher advised the mother to be patient with Navya so that the child can share her feelings comfortably. A person cannot work properly under pressure and sometimes ends up making a wrong decision to escape from the pressure. Putting pressure blocks all communication and increases the chances of the same mistake being repeated in future.
 
Navya’s mother realised that she needs to trust her child to dissuade her from hiding anything in future. She also needs to be more polite with her in order to understand her better. She should not mount expectations on her. This will only put her under pressure and will bring her performance down further. She decided to help her child explore her interests and hone them. 

This book is helpful for teachers as well as for parents to prepare their children for future. Every individual has his own dreams and interests which must not be compared with those of others. Instead, a child must be motivated to achieve his own goal with determination. For this, a supportive environment must be ensured.  

~ Monika Vaishnav is an Educator at The Fabindia School. Her email is mvv4fab@gmail.com

Tackling Pressure on Students


Victory Over Pressure
“Is Your Child Ready to Face the World?" is a great book for understanding the psychology of a child. The author, Dr. Anupam Sibal, is a Pediatrician, having good knowledge of child behavior. In this book, he has written about his journey of raising his son Devaang with moral virtues such as humility, truthfulness, and compassion. He prepares Devaang to face the world, equipped with these good values. 


All the parts of the books are enlightening, but the part I liked most is the one that deals with “Handling Pressure”. It notes that the immense pressure on students due to sickness, study and other reasons may cause many pediatric symptoms. Further, it is also indicative of serious problems in future such as depression, loss of appetite, and negativity. The book provides the example of a child with peer pressure symptoms. 

While reading this chapter, the image of one of my students flashed again and again in my mind. Her name is Bhawika, a girl who faced immense pressure this year. Her parents wanted her to perform well in her academics as well as in other activities. For that, they met the teachers and the Principal as they were not satisfied with the grades secured by their child. They wanted her to perform like an all-rounder student. Bhawika was good at all subjects, given her age. But they wanted her to be the best. They wanted her to be promoted from Grade 5 to Grade 6, which required her to take some tests. This put her under pressure and she could not perform well. Even then her parents insisted that she be promoted to Grade 6. As a result of this pressure the child’s behaviour changed completely. She stopped talking with her friends and was always lost in deep thought. When I asked her about her sadness, she told me that she did not want to be promoted to Grade 6. The thought of taking tests and moving on to the next grade came as a shock to her and she felt that she was not mentally prepared for such a move. One day she began sobbing during the class. Upon being asked about it, she told me that she didn't want to leave her friends and that she did not find herself fit for Grade 6. I decided to meet her parents and make them understand the fact that they must not pressurise their child. I quoted an example from the book to explain my point. Luckily, they agreed with me and gave up the idea of double promotion of their child. Soon after, I noticed that Bhawika was happy again and was paying attention towards her studies and games.

Pressure affects children negatively and makes them deviate from their normal behaviour. It also tends to take away their happiness and robs them of the joys of childhood. It is crucial that as parents and educators we understand and tackle this pressure in every possible way.

~ Rajeshwari Rathore is an Educator at The Fabindia School. Her email is rre4fab@gmail.com