War & Peace - Swati Kesharwani

A person reflecting on my own experiences, I have indeed been both the "different" person joining a new school and the one welcoming others into my space. When I joined a new school as a student, I vividly remember feeling a mix of excitement and apprehension. In some instances, I was warmly welcomed by my peers and teachers, which made the transition much smoother. However, there were also times when I felt like an outsider, struggling to find my place amidst established social circles. As a teacher, I have also been in the position of welcoming new students into my classroom. I have always made a conscious effort to create a welcoming and inclusive environment, ensuring that new students feel valued and supported from day one.

Looking back, the pros of my own experiences joining a new space include the opportunity for personal growth, the chance to make new connections and friendships, and the exposure to different perspectives and cultures. However, there were also challenges, such as feelings of loneliness, the pressure to fit in, and the need to navigate unfamiliar social dynamics. In terms of welcoming others into my space, the pros include the satisfaction of making someone feel welcomed and included, the opportunity to learn from others' experiences, and the chance to broaden my own worldview. However, there may have been instances where I could have been more proactive in reaching out to new students or creating opportunities for them to connect with their peers.

As for possible learnings from these experiences, I have come to appreciate the importance of empathy, open-mindedness, and inclusivity in fostering a sense of belonging and community. I have learned that small gestures of kindness, such as offering a friendly smile or striking up a conversation, can make a big difference to someone who is feeling uncertain or alone. Moving forward, I aim to continue creating welcoming and inclusive spaces where everyone feels valued and respected.

If I imagined myself in Roma's place, faced with a high-risk scenario in the classroom, I would approach it with a calm and composed demeanour, while also being vigilant and proactive in addressing the situation. I would prioritize the safety of all students, quickly assess the level of risk, and intervene appropriately to de-escalate the situation. I would also make sure to follow up with the students involved, offering support, guidance, and resources as needed to prevent similar incidents in the future. Overall, the session on high-risk behaviour adds valuable insights and strategies that I can incorporate into my own approach to handling such situations in the classroom.

Sunbeam Annapurna
Masterclass (2024) 

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