One of the most important understandings we come to gain, through our physical journey, is the lesson of humility and appreciation. We often talk about people being put in our lives for a reason, and there is always a lesson to be learned from them. They are there to help us to learn and grow.
There are many gifted students learning in our school. Some are especially challenged children, which makes the teachers’ knowledge of their own limits a matter for appreciation and encouragement. The story of ‘Rama’ a gifted child of Grade 6 and his shadow teacher taught us that by acting with humility, others learn to respect, follow, appreciate and want to be around us. This should describe the people we prefer to work with and for.
Rama loved everything about school. He always had a deep love for learning. For the shy child, the classroom was his safe space and his classmates showed the zeal of humility and appreciation. He was accompanied to school by his shadow teacher. He was loved by all his classmates. At times he would spit, hit and pulled at his fellow-students. But his friends never showed any frustration or annoyance to his behaviour. After all, they were mere sixth graders. During class, he answered and tried to share his opinion in his own way. Though indistinct, the answers made sense to the teacher, and she acknowledged them. Even the students applauded him.
|The Power of Humility and Humble Appreciation|
One day while the teacher was teaching, he got up, became aggressive and went out of the class. He began to bite at his hand and started banging on the glass door. There was a huge commotion in the class. All students were scared and moved close to the teacher. His shadow teacher tried to stop him from biting his own hand but he did not mellow down. The neighbouring class teacher informed the section head and his father was asked to come down. Soon, his father reached school and took him home.
After one week, Rama was accompanied by a new shadow teacher to the class. Being bold and humble, she was like a coach who guided his studies every day. His class teacher began to observe his shadow teacher very keenly. She found that, while the teachers taught, the shadow teacher went through the same concepts with him, using pictures. She made him write in his way by giving him second-hand support. She appreciated him by giving ‘chocolates’ which he liked most and that made him more enthusiastic about his work. At times she used to read stories for him which he liked very much. She shared her food with him, took him to the washroom and helped him in all the ways she possibly could. She ensured that his exercise books were filled in, work updated and submitted on time. On the other hand, his classmates' outward humility and inward appreciation was something that the teacher learnt every day.
This training continued for months and she started to teach him the basic lessons of humility like ‘saying sorry’ ‘thank you,’ etc. Slowly and steadily the teachers found changes in Rama’s habits. Before going to the washroom he learnt to say ‘excuse me’ and sought ‘permission’ from his teachers before starting on his lunch. Her humble attitude and constant appreciation were precisely an example of moral vitality and insight.
During the PTM when Rama’s parents came to meet the teachers, the shadow teacher was appreciated by his parents and teachers alike for her humble nature, willingness to help and patience in bringing a behavioural change in Rama. The qualities of humility and appreciation are fundamental in helping us be more effective leaders.
Optimizer @ Billabong High International School Thane.
- Madhubala Saji, Kalyani Chaudhari, Ajita Bhoir, Rupal Trivedi, Momita Banerjee, Kshama Rajgor, Sanket Patel.