In life, one gets to play varied roles and responsibilities. This role, the current one, has been the most satisfying. Some call it the role of a teacher and some reframe it as educators. Literature has ways of instilling the concept of Gurus and based on my experiences, I have a different perspective on it. It is more of a learner than anything more.
The first day, the day I thought I would be the teacher, was the day I realised I am amidst a lot of sharp, observant, keen to follow and learn jewels, leaving less room to falter and flaw. I try to be on time, I try to be updated, I try to be a good listener, I try and keep calm. Basically, the realisation dawned on me that I could not expect till I performed. Their simple yet profound questions always leave me introspecting and I try to empower them to look for solutions with a little nudge here and a little there, and what comes out is – Eureka! and a content smile on my face.
Generating independent yet accommodating perspectives has been the real objective, making them self-aware, yet very respectful and helpful to others has been the smart goal. The aim is to always to be there and yet to let them navigate themselves, each to their own unique and achieving ways.
A secret to their acche din is to make them understand what happiness is, and that life is so much more than exams and academics. I feel privileged to have the chance to have a sneak peek into the lives of today’s teenagers. We feel we have seen the world more than our youngsters, and conveniently consider ourselves to be wiser and matured. I had to change such ideas of mine after I got to play this role, and I am glad to realize that they are much wiser than us. Braving through the temptations of social media and the glamour and glitz of consumerism, if kids are standing tall, one needs to appreciate the amazing grit they have, to conquer all and march on unabashed.
Self-research under guidance has been one of the most effective ways of generating involved and invested learners. In an era when information is available on your fingertips, what can be least expected of young minds is zero plagiarism, which again has to be put across in a non-dictated manner.
Some things that I try and keep in mind always, when around the young kids, are
• To create an atmosphere of comfort and democracy,
• Help them love themselves,
• Help them feel they are born free and they can spread their wings and fly high,
• Help them know their roots and their past,
• Help them feel the invaluable lesson of being basic, organic and connected; connected to nature, to each other and to information
• Help them feel that each one of them is instrumental and can contribute in creating a better world,
I believe being born in this wild world is a lottery, but survival is the price that one needs to pay. And I can end with the good thought that I need not worry for the next generation, they have the secrets to survival in this world. I am happy that I am a continuous learner, learning the survival techniques from the next gen.
I rather be a sparrow than a snail!