Humility must be consistently modeled as a lifestyle

Is your child ready to face the world?  
By Dr Anupam Sibal

After reading the first lesson of the book l felt having a humble attitude does not mean we shouldn't acknowledge or be proud of our talents, strengths and accomplishments. However we should use them in the service of others. Humility is something we choose,  it does not come automatically to most of us. True leaders serve their followers and the best teachers work for their students and make their child ready to face the world. As a teacher I think that humility is also an associate of gratitude, and it is an attribute  that simply oozes in class. I think there are some ways to teach humility to our  children.

Humility must be consistently modeled as a lifestyle, not with on again, off again examples, i.e never underestimate the power of teaching through examples.  

1. Build them up
2. Encourage and help them to be the very best they can be, no matter what they do. 3. Humility works best when our child has actually achieved something! We should help our child achieve with confidence.
4. Make sure they understand where their value comes from.
5.Teacher should never humiliate  the child.
6.Teach them to serve. Serve the homeless. Serve the poor. Serve their family. Serve one another.
7. Coach them on how to respond.
8. Teach them how to apologize.  
9. Teach them to give thanks.

Yes, teaching and learning require courage and humility does matter. Whether we are teachers or students, we must learn to be self-reflective, critical of our personal beliefs and open to other's perspectives and ideas. As a teacher I must encourage the students like this, help when we can and don't expect rewards all the time for doing the right thing. We find activities we like and are good at but that doesn't mean we stop trying new things. The teacher listens to the students, respects, helps and encourages the students to try again after making mistakes.

Here is a story of a retired soldier, he and his wife became owners of an academy of "Martial Arts". He also teaches at local schools. His philosophy of serving is quickly evident to those who know him. "I work for my students ," he said. "My students do not work for me. I don't order people. Any activity comes from the heart of the students who have a thirst for knowledge, if I work for them, if I do the best job I can, their thirst for knowledge and training will be even greater ". "I like to plant seeds  and watch them grow". He further said that the most important thing, "I'm not teaching people for them to become another Bruce Lee. I am training them to become Champions in the society ." During one seminar his own teacher, Karate master, asked the students, "What do you do to be a nice person?". He told the class, "I wash dishes". The whole class had the vision of a 10th degree Karate master doing the dishes and got the message that this is a way to help the family. "It is about humility", said the Karate master. "That is the seed, then it grows into the rest of the society. He noted that the basics are crucial. "It is like building a house", he said. "If you don't have a good foundation, it does not matter how beautiful the castle, it will crumble. Build a good foundation, then add to it."

The message of this story is if a teacher is passionate about his/her students. He or she will alway ask them if they have  understood. Teacher is not the kind of person to take things at face value. Learning has to be logical. When the teacher teaches a technique, he or she also teaches why.  When someone understands why a technique works, retention will be better. The greatest part of teaching is seeing the changes in people. When children become more focussed. They do better at school. They do better at home or in the world.

- Girja Koul, is a teacher at the DBN Amarvilla School in Jammu, her email is gkl.av@dbntrust.in.

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