Freedom & Peace - Penta BHIS


             FREEDOM                         &                                  PEACE

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” -----Malcolm X

In a class of 25, the teacher looks at each students’ skills - reading, writing and listening, emotional and academic abilities. She then puts her energies to nurture and nourish them. Some students in the class are good at academics and some are strong emotionally. In a peaceful classroom, every student has the freedom to express himself/herself without being judged. Everyone enjoys the freedom of expression, but not the freedom to hurt or ridicule. Freedom entails responsibility – this is exemplified by the teacher.

A young class is always energetic and raring to go. However, Saanvi is quiet in her ways, never
giving in to be a part of her playful and noisy peers. Saanvi never shows agitation or adds to any chaos that claims the class during breaks or P.E. classes. She is always poised and composed. The teacher watches out for her personality traits. Is Saanvi shy? An introvert? Incapable of holding her own in an argument? Does she have difficulty in expressing herself? Thankfully, the answers are in the negative. In today’s World of widespread commotion and one-upmanship, Saanvi does not want to steal anyone’s thunder. She awaits her turn, quietly helps others and does not crave for acknowledgement. If appreciated, she looks contented, and chirps a polite ‘Thank you, Miss.’
No teacher can find anything to complain about a child who is so composed and considerate to others. On the PTM day, the teacher wants to find out more about Saanvi. Is she so troubled that she has nothing to say?

During the PTM, the lobby and the class are crowded with parents. Every parent, while awaiting their turn, is talking. Soon the conversation of adults assumes a rising crescendo. Most parents do not take the trouble of keeping their phones on the silent mode. Adding to the cacophony, are the numerous ringtones as are the loud instructions to domestic help or the formal talk given to a colleague at the other end. Of course, no teacher has the wherewithal to step into this space to rein in the disturbance. In spite of their surroundings, a couple continues to wait patiently. Their phones do not ring for anyone to hear, they do not complain about a fellow parent breaking the queue or compare children’s performances loudly. When it is their turn to meet the teacher, they begin with a smile and a compliment to her.
During the conversation, they smile at each other and the teacher a lot, appreciate the work of the teachers and discuss areas of improvement to make their child a better human being. Needless to say, the teacher recognizes them as Saanvi’s parents. The apple has not fallen far from the tree. Often parents forget that their children carry their implicit attributes to the outside world.

The teacher could see that PEACE was a state of mind, irrespective of one’s surroundings.
In a classroom where a teacher teaches and students learn, there are some days when students teach, and the teachers learn.

Every year when students get promoted to a higher class, there is a state of anxiety in the students and parents with regard to the new teacher and how he/she will be. But as the school reopens and days pass by, the teacher begins to know the class well. It is when the student has the freedom to express and knows that he/she would be heard and cared for in any situation, does the classroom acquire a sense of contentment, even peace.

Saanvi taught her teacher “Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace.” (The Dalai Lama)
Without this peace, a sense of freedom is not possible.

Penta @ Billabong International High School, Thane

- Jeeji Sanjeev, Sanika Joshi, Arpita M.G., Muskaan Menda, Radhika Anand, Supriya Naravankar & Bhavani Swamy.

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