Sensitivity 1 - part of a series of posts from the professional learning community at The Fabindia School, they are pursuing the three-year Professional Development Programme offered by the Learning Forward India Academy.
Am extremely thankful to you for giving me this opportunity to lead a team of such experienced and senior teammates, the PDP session on Sensitivity was an enjoyable experience with teammates to discuss and share their experiences, and each one is a master of its type full with knowledge and experiences of practical life.
Our incredible team includes BRO, BJH, KSA, KGL and myself, with great pleasure I am sharing the fruits of the efforts of Group 1 (PDP Team at The Fabindia School)
Ajay Vijayvargi (AVI)
Cultural Sensitivity is a set of skills that enables you to learn about and get to know people who are different from you, thereby coming to understand how to serve them better within their own communities.
I would like to share an experience on cultural sensitivity- When we shifted to Pali(Marwar) to join our new job in July 2003, here in Marwar region Kartik Poornima is celebrated with by lighting diyas etc, like Diwali, our landlady asked us why we have not lighted the diyas outside the house or with electric light series, I bluntly told her we do not celebrate this festival, she said nothing to us but quietly lighted some diyas on the main gate and parapet of our flat and wished us the festival,offered sweets.
I felt bad about it and thought are we not even able to light diyas in our flat,what that lady was trying to prove to us, I asked my wife to speak to the landlady on this issue.
Her reply taught me a lesson on sensitivity, she said –“ Bhaisabh, koi baat nahi aap log is festival ko nahi manate per ek aap ka ghar hi andhere me rahta to accha nahi lagta aur padosi batein banete aur upshagun bhi mante, isliye maine diye laga diye,aap isko galat na le”.
After that incident, we celebrate this festival as it is celebrated in this region and we remember it each year.
Sensitivity is the ability to understand what other people need and be helpful and kind to them. It means quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals or influences. It is often considered with regard to a particular kind of stimulus.
One example I want to share with you. When beggars come to the door, my wife gives something to them but I always refuse to do it. I ask myself, Are they really beggars or not? Do they need our help? This kind of difference of opinions between me and my wife is not just because we are two different people; it is precisely because my wife is more sensitive to human suffering than me. This does not imply that I am inhuman or insensitive but probably it takes a little more for me to feel the human pain.
Sensitivity at workplace
I was overwhelmed when my teammates pointed out my little gesture of helped to them in computers have sensitivity.
Working on computers was nothing surprising for me but those who are not comfortable with the computer, to help them was my incident of sensitivity.
The word sensitivity is the quality to be sensitive towards others. This quality is very necessary for schools. It helps a child to feel safe to learn in a school environment. It helps a person to be aware of what is happening in the surrounding and to react with one another and to come to face to face situation. Sensitivity helps to interact with each other and to come closer to one another. A teacher in a classroom should create such an environment that a boy/ girl may feel free to discuss or relate the way they are feeling about themselves, about one another and their teacher. It helps the children to work together democratically, socially and emotionally. A student will never interact with his class fellows or in school till he/ she is not sensitive towards others. Sensitivity helps a child to be helpful and collaborate responsibly with others.
I recall an incident that took some years back. I had a girl student in Class VIII. One day while having an activity that girl spoke up suddenly and told that she wanted to suicide. I became sensitive towards her and tried to find out the reason behind it. She told me that she feels bad for her mother who has to listen every day from her father for giving birth to a girl child. Both parents were in education line but they could not understand the feelings of their child. I counselled her and told her to face this situation with intelligence and support of her parents. I called her mother and told everything to her. She supported her daughter and today she is doing her MBA in Udaipur.
Empathy is understanding person’s difficulty in that situation while sensitivity is to render a gesture of help through suggestion, physical help and interacting with them. A teacher needs to be sensitive for it comes through many such situations where it has to help its student out of his/her problem.
Emotional Sensitivity in workplace
Emotional Sensitivity is when a child responds emotionally to various situations at the time of difficulty.
I have observed that in school and classrooms we face many such situations when students become emotional. In senior classes and co-ed schools bullying children is a common thing that we see every day. A girl was bullied continuously by a boy for many weeks. The girl was mentally tortured so she stopped coming to school. The teacher came to know about this in her absence. She visited that girl’s house and emotionally found out everything that the cause of her absence was. She even interacted with her parents. With both the help of the teacher and parents, the girl was able to come out of her situation and was able to attend school regularly and happily.