Dr.Anupam Sibal’s book “Is Your Child Ready to Face the World?” is really very interesting with many great virtues conveyed in the form of life experiences. It seeks to understand a child better in order to help him/her imbibe values needed to lead a good life.
While reading this book, a question kept nagging me - Have I given some of these qualities to the children I come across everyday in my classroom? Perhaps, I have. But so much more can be done. Reading this book has given me a sense of purpose and direction to approach value education from a different perspective.
I remember the time I went to attend the Parent-Teacher Meeting for my nephew, Rahul. A student of class VIII, he was very nervous because his Language teachers were about to complain to his father regarding his handwriting. When my brother and I met his English teacher, she complained about his handwriting not being legible. My brother became very angry and he wanted to hit his son. When he came back home, he called Rahul and gave him a choice: he could either improve his handwriting and put the matter to rest, or he could let things be and forego his summer break in Mumbai. I decided to help him and encouraged him to not give up. I constantly reminded him that in life, it is never too late to rectify our mistakes and improve. I oversaw his daily practice of cursive writing. In a week's time, he started improving and learned to write within the lines of a ruled notebook. His hard work paid off and his work was appreciated by his teachers who stopped complaining.
In another incident, when I was teaching in class I, the students were eager to know when they would be allowed to draw pictures and use colour. After I went over the designated chapter, I told them to draw a mango tree and colour it. Usually kids carry their own wax colours, but on that day Latha had not brought her colours so she borrowed them from Bhavya. After colouring, she returned a few colours and kept the rest for herself thinking her friend would forget about them. Suddenly Jeenal, another girl sitting next to her, saw that she is keeping Bhavya’s colours in her bag and complained to me about the same. I called Latha and told her that she must return things she borrows from others. It is not a good habit to take others' things without seeking their permission. I asked her to return the colours with a thank you and an apology.
Everyday incidents like these speak volumes about the importance of values like never giving up and honesty in our lives. We often overlook their significance only to realise later, when it's too late.
~ Kavitha Devda is an Educator at The Fabindia School. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org