18 January, 2008

School is fun ............

....... "I like going to school" says Abhay nowadays.

A mighty far cry, I would say, from last year, when the very word "school" used to make him cringe.

Through the whole of the last academic year, school had turned into an aversion of sorts for Abhay. There were plenty of incidents, some of which I wrote about here and summed the whole year up here. All in all, the first year of kindergarten for Abhay was nothing short of mental torture.

So when the second year of kindergarten began in September 2007, me and Abhay went to school on the Orientation Day. About a week – 10 days before school began, we had begun to mentally prepare him for that fact that the vacation was almost over and that schooldays would begin soon.

The anxiety in him was palpable. The disquiet was creeping upon him surely and steadily and his apprehension and disquiet at the very idea of going back to school was quite apparent.

New timings, a new classroom, new classmates and a new teacher. Lots of elements of change. How would be cope ? was the question uppermost on our minds too – especially given the fact that the previous year in school had left him with way too many negative memories.

Little did we know that he would soon come across a person in his second year of kindergarten, who would slowly, surely and steadily prove to be one of the most positive turning points in his academic life. A person, who did not think twice about going those extra five miles in helping the children settle into class and school. A person who was so spontaneous in giving and displaying her love and affection towards the children. A person who built up his confidence levels to such an extent that the “I can do it” attitude has started to slowly but steadily shine forth.

That’s Ms.S, who was, until recently, Abhay’s teacher in his second year of kindergarten.

The one thing that had always struck me about her was her warm, cheerful and sunny personality. Always natural and liberal with her hugs and her smiles and her “love you” to the children, she proved beyond doubt that love, warmth and affection go a long long way in creating and making for the right kind of atmosphere for a child to grow, thrive and learn. More importantly, for a child to blossom and flourish happily.

The manner in which she connected with the children and the kind of bonding that took place in such a short span of 3 months is nothing short of amazing. It was all pretty simple – she showered her affection on the kids from the bottom of her heart and they responded.

One little snippet of conversation that I remember till date was one that took place sometime in early October. Some topic came up about children being naughty and I remember asking Ms.S if Abhay was being naughty in class. To which she replied “I personally would say that children should be naughty. It is perfectly alright for them to be naughty as long as they know when to stop.” A very balanced approach that was.

Over these past 3 – 3 1/2 months, the change that she brought about in Abhay’s attitude towards school was astounding. Gone was that “chip in the shoulder” attitude about not wanting to go to school. In its place was a burgeoning sense of wanting to go to school. A growing and mushrooming sense of self-confidence soon evidently began to manifest itself.

The best teachers teach from the heart, not just from the book. ~Author Unknown~

And that was precisely what Ms.S did. She taught these little children from her heart, showering on them her warmth and understanding them for what they were. Little children.

Even today, when Abhay looks at the pictures from school and spots Ms.S, the smile that lights up that little face is a very fond one. It is a smile that mirrors his delight and affection. It is a smile that shines through his eyes. It is a smile to behold. And that smile speaks volumes.

As Carl Jung once said

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.

Ms.S has left the kindergarten for furthering her education. We wish Ms.S all the very best of luck in her future endeavors.

Wherever she goes, children there will be lucky to have her teach them.

post signature

18 voice(s) said so:

Lavs said...


Preethi said...

Oh.. poor Abhay will miss Ms. S.. Its amazing what a vital part teachers place.. if only all of them would be like Ms. S .. Nantu has been lucky too ... he has some really loving teachers... :) Lovely pic .. Abhay is truly shining through!!

Tharini said...

g, you don't know how happy I feel to read this post and sense Abhay's confidence and happiness. A lovely post and tribute to a fine person. Such an inspiring story even for us parents to be more purer in our love too.

Hope Abhay has a warm and wonderful person to replace his Ms.S in all the years he spends at school.

Neera said...

I left this comment on 'The weekend cometh' post as well but thought I'll copy paste it here as well

Just read this post from the link to your new post and couldn't resist from commenting. It brought tears to my eyes as well :( If only all adults, especially at school understand what it takes for 3 something year old kids to leave the confines of home, all that they have been used to from birth up and the amount of trust parents invest in them to be leaving their children with them. I am so glad Abhay is enjoying school now and I hope he gets more teachers like Ms S who are able to put his and your anxieties to rest.

Gauri said...

Lavs : Which post of yours ??

Preethi : Oh yes. All the kids miss her.

T : I hope so too. Fingers crossed.

Neera : Very True.

Moppet's Mom said...

The picture says it all - that's a 1000 volt smile on the kid! Hope his new teacher will be as affectionate.

karmickids said...

Oh Gauri, I know exactly what you mean. The brat had such a teacher last year, and he just loved to go to school. She would tell me, its okay, I just let him run around the class and work off his energy. When he tires himself out, he sits to pay attention. This year, in the first fortnight, a four page long sheet went to the special educators calling the brat a disruptive element in class. Any wonders why he whines every morning about getting to school. Teachers make all the difference.

Just Like That said...

:-) Abhay is going to miss Ms.S.- that's some smile on his face!
Yeah, good luck to Ms.S.

I love Lucy said...

Ms.S is so pretty!
You know Gauri,I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now and the posts I enjoy the most are those about the siblings and how they interact with each other and are inseparable!Very heart warming to read about such well brought up and sweet kids!Kudos!

Kodi's Mom said...

Gauri, I am so pleased to read this post and the words from Abhay. I recall the posts from last year where he (and you) struggled with school, with one specific teacher, and this one post melts away all that. I can imagine what a relief it is for you!

did you say, 'until recently, she was...'? so she is no longer his teacher?

Gauri said...

Moppet's Mom : Yep. I hope so too.

Kiran : Oh Kiran - have they started that saga all over again ? No. I don't blame the Brat for whining about going to school.

JLT : Ditto that. Am yet to email you ...

I Love Lucy : Thanks and Welcome here. Hope to see you around more often.

Kodi's Mom : Did I say "until recently" ?? Did I ?? Hmmm .... goes to show that you are not reading my posts fully .... (*wagging stern finger at*)
:-) you asked for it.

Shobana said...

Yes, he looks so very happy next to her....good to know that she helped him so much in the little time that she was around. I wish she could have stayed until the end of the yr...but hopefully her replacement will be as helpful as her.

noon said...

Happy to read this...it's such a blessing for us too if our children end up with good, loving teachers esp when they are so young. Glad he had this teacher long enough to change his attitude towards school. Am praying that when KB starts school he should get a good kind teacher...

~nm said...

This is such a wonderful post. Teaching is not as easy as anyone would generally think. In fact today I was trying to teach Betu something and I was at my wits end after a while. I have done a post on this. Read it when you can.

I am sure Ms S will be sorely missed but I hope someone as capable as her takes over!

dipali said...

What a wonderful teacher! All kids should be blessed with teachers like her:)

2 B's mommy said...

The pic says it all - how much Abhay adores Ms S and how happy he is with this teacher. Teachers make all the difference - reminded me a little about Taare Zameen Par which shows what an important role teachers play in a child's life.

choxbox said...

may ms. S's tribe increase!

Aryan said...

How happy Abhay is ??? That shows the teacher's magic
Aryan's mom