“Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity. If you learn this art of being thoughtful, you will become more and more Christ-like, for his heart was meek, and he always thought of others. Our vocation, to be beautiful, must be full of thought for others.”- Mother Teresa.
Today's children are tomorrow's future. If the present is good, then the future will definitely be golden. That is why it is necessary to work on the present. Strengthen the foundation. If the foundation is strong, then the building itself will be beautiful and strong. So we have to inculcate values in children from their early days. This starts from home itself. When the child starts going to school, he gets a bigger family where he comes in contact with his peers and teachers and is also influenced. In such a situation, the teacher's responsibility increases a lot because he carves the captains of the country.
The teacher is a guide, a coach, a facilitator, a leader, and above all, a role model for the students, contributing to the positive growth of her students and setting the tone of the class.
Assigned time in the classroom
In the classroom, foster thoughtfulness by setting aside time for discussion and giving them a thought to work upon. Like I observed during the fruit break, some children waste their fruit. They throw half-eaten fruits in the dustbin. So in our science class while on the FOOD chapter, I discussed the beneficial qualities of fruits, the hard work that goes into growing it and finally how it reaches our home. The children understood and from then on took care that no one wasted the fruit.
Random acts of kindness
Random acts of kindness increase compassion, which leads to a greater sense of interconnectedness in the classroom, and I feel it is contagious too and when witnessed by others, it causes kindness to spread. Give genuine compliments, and praise is an easy way to spread kindness.
In our school, students perform simple acts of kindness. They make cards, write letters to welcome new students to the campus. They become a guide, their mentor and make them comfortable in their new surroundings.
I feel with encouraging words, when you appreciate a student's work, he gains confidence. Here the teacher can take his confidence to another level of thoughtfulness and ask the student to help his classmates understand the topic. Let the student experience this feeling of achievement. Now introduce the ‘Volunteer Time’ in the classroom. You will be amazed to see the results. Children will finish their work efficiently and will be ready to help others. Further, this Volunteer time can be used for community service also.
Empathy is important for creating understanding in students. As teachers, we regularly focus on helping children get along despite their differences. But what about students’ similarities?
Often empathy breaks down because students do not see how alike they are. Have students get to know each other.
Ask students to list the memories or moments which they cherish, dreams or goals they have for their life. They may also write about the people they admire and why. Now allow students to go around and look at the other's boards, note down the similarities and connections they see between their own board and their classmates. Finally, give them the stage to share some of the connections they have discovered. This will help to create more empathy and understanding.
“A door is much smaller compared to the house, a lock is much smaller compared to the door, and a key is the smallest of all, but a key can open an entire house. Thus a small, thoughtful solution can solve major problems.” - Dr APJ Kalam.
Rachna Bharrdwaj - The Doon Girls School, Dehradun