Happiness and Tolerance: Kavitha Devda

Children always grasp things in different ways which may not always be what we would like
to give them. As teachers we are expected to maintain a balance between children's happiness as well as discipline. Happiness and Tolerance are like two sides of the same coin where the children as well as the adults  may face difficulty in applying them in their every-day lives. An  incident  which I  want to share as a short story.

It was  Friday and  Class Three had their Music lesson. The students  lined up outside their respective class waiting for their teacher to escort them . Music Sir was absent.  So  I was given a substitution lesson.  It was very hot inside the classroom, so I took them outside and  made them  sit under the tree.  I thought about having a conversation with children. So I just started with the word “Happiness”. The students were very eager to explore this topic. I just began with simple questions.   What makes you happy?

 The students came up with some very interesting ideas about happiness. Naksh said, “I feel happy when I laugh." Priyanshi said, "Music makes me happy." Surender said, I  am only happy when I eat. Krishna  said, " I feel happy when I play my favourite games." Garv said,  "When I sleep I am very  happy."  Vratika said, "Happiness means when we get something and we are satisfied from the inner side of us."  Abhimanyu said, "When I draw something  and add colours to it, this makes me happy."  Alveera said, "When I see butterflies and birds flying, it makes me happy. Like this everyone shared  what makes them happy.  I  was very happy with their responses. While I was still discussing the same, the bell rang ending the class midway.

On the very same day, I had English  lesson  with grade One  in the last lesson . As I entered the class I said children please get ready. I am going to take up the lesson about "The Animals and their Young Ones' '. The students followed the instructions and were ready to understand the topic. As I was showing the pictures of the animals and their young ones, I noticed that Neeraj and Himanshu were busy scribbling in their notebooks and giggling. I asked both of them to stand up. Then I asked, "Why aren’t you paying attention?’’ They said, "Ma'am,  we are drawing the animals." Neeraj said,'' Ma'am I drew a cub, but Himanshu is telling me that it's a cat." Everyone laughed at them.

 Suddenly I said Himanshu to go and get four charts from the Art room. The students looked surprisingly  at this sudden reaction  by me.  Himanshu  followed my  instruction and brought the charts. I divided the students into four groups and gave them charts and asked them to  draw any two animals with their young ones on each chart and write their names. All the students were so happy to draw as they all loved it. Even I drew some animals on the board as I also liked drawing.  It then dawns upon Himanshu and Neeraj  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. Then I said,  "Well children, this is what makes  me happy."  This is a true representation of how intolerance can be handled and also teaching the students what happiness truly means.

Kavitha Devda 
The Fabindia School

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