Students always have the tendency to grasp things in different ways which may not always be what we would like to portray to them. As teachers, we are expected to maintain a balance between students’ happiness as well as class discipline.
Happiness and Tolerance are like two sides of the same coin where the students, as well as the teachers, may face difficulty in applying them in their every-day lives. A classroom incident to which we as teachers or reminiscing our school days may relate to is given in the following short story.
It was an everyday scenario, the students lined up outside their respective classes waiting for their teacher to escort them inside the classes. Mr Hylton, the class teacher of grade 8 comes over to the class to conduct the 1st period that being Moral Science. He walks in and introduces the chapter “Happiness”. The students were all very eager to explore this topic.
Mr Hylton: “What makes you happy?”
Soham: “I feel happy when I laugh.”
Aditya: “Sir, Music makes me happy.”
Gaurav: “Sir, I am only happy when I eat.”
Raju: “Sir, When I sleep I am very very happy.”
The teacher was very happy with their responses. Then he starts emphasizing on the different aspects of happiness.
Mr Hylton: “Happiness may mean the Joy one derives from inner satisfaction, Optimism which ultimately leads to better productivity.”
The students seemed to be listening to Mr Hylton intently and grasping all that he was saying. Mr Hylton was also very happy seeing that the children were very interested in the topic. While he was still discussing the same, the bell rang, ending the class midway.
On the very same day, Mr Hylton had History class with grade 8 in the last period. As he enters the class he says :
Mr Hylton: “Children please get ready I am going to take up the lesson about The Gupta Dynasty.”
The students follow his instructions and get ready for the lesson. As Mr. Hylton was in the midst of explaining the lesson, he noticed that Gaurav and Raju were busy scribbling in their notebooks and giggling.
Mr Hylton: “Gaurav, Raju, please stand up. Why aren’t you paying attention?’’
Gaurav: “Sir, we are practising happiness.”
A realization hits Mr Hylton that his Moral Science lesson was not perceived in a positive way by the students. Suddenly he instructs Gourav.
Mr Hylton: “Gaurav, Please go to the Music Room and get the Guitar.”
The students look surprised at this sudden reaction by Mr Hylton. Gaurav follows his instruction and brings a guitar.
Mr Hylton: ‘’Class, I shall play a tune and you will sing along.’’
Aditya: “ Sir, Are you alright? This is not the Music class. You are our History teacher, you don’t even know how to play the Guitar!”
Mr Hylton: “Well children, this is what makes ME happy.”
It then dawns upon Gurav and Raju that they had misinterpreted the true definition of ‘’Happiness,’’ which meant being happy but at the same time expressing happiness in the right way and the right time.
Mr Hylton is a true representation of how intolerance can be handled also teaching the students what happiness truly means.
- Shraddha Dewan <firstname.lastname@example.org> for Adapters at Sacred Heart School Siliguri