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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mirror Mirror...

A class mirrors a teacher's mood, spirit, enthusiasm, thoughts, energy... This is what I have come to realize with my six years of teaching. Like the over used maxim, "you need two hands to applaud", it is true that teachers and students have to work together to enjoy a lesson and produce good academic results. However, teachers are the driving force in this commune between the parties.

When I am feeling low, I see my students dull. Even the slightest show of fatigue or boredom is magnified under my glasses which then becomes powerful microscopes. The best thing I have realized in such a situation is to mobilized my teaching passion, renew it and reenergize to set our moods right.
The most useful thing has always been cracking jokes to refresh their minds, it is a skill and I am sharpening it daily. 

But, if I lose myself to anger, all is lost. The promise of an energetic lesson and the happiness of delivering my lesson are destroyed. The frequency of these low moments, if increased will become a habit. It will become a part of me as I become more sour with each moment I lose myself to anger and frustration. I have a choice, and by my choice I define myself. I can choose to become sour when I see some of my students sleepy or I can lift myself up, seize the opportunity for making them and myself enjoy some hearty laughter with some good jokes.  

My students are my mirror image. They reflect me as I see myself. If I am troubled, I see them not very interested in my lesson. If my spirits are high, I find them bright and ready for an exciting class. And I know that I have a choice.

So, Mirror Mirror on the wall...?  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two Boys.

A true story.

Two boys of same spirit and age grew up playing. They were best friends but it was not without some competition. Being boys, pushing themselves a step further than the other one was always something they did. To prove that one could run faster, or jump higher, or simply eat more dumplings than the other was what they did. Though they were fierce  competitors, they were inseparable.

They did almost every thing equally. Both were equally strong, equally fast and equally serious when it came to winning. One afternoon they reached the river banks after their ball. Suddenly a new game struck them- who would dare cross the river when it was all murky and swelling with challenge. The first boy said he could easily cross the river because he was a good swimmer. The second boy, though he was not confident didn't want to show he was afraid.

So, they stripped themselves and entered the water. The first boy drove into the dark waves and stroke the currents, pushing himself further. His friend waited, hesitantly. He watched his friend, some where in the middle it seemed that the rugged currents were winning and the boy's strokes were ebbing against the powerful currents. The swimmer tried to turn back but it was a wrong decision. The other boy panicked but was too afraid to go after his friend, the swimmer. He ran for help. When he reached the road and turned back to look at his friend, he saw nothing. He was caught in a state of indecisive delirium. He didn't know what to do.

Later at home he didn't speak anything about what happened. He locked himself in his room and cried. Fear played incessantly in his mind and unfolded possibilities which were dark and unforgiving. When his mother called him for dinner he told her that he was not feeling well. Throughout the night he sweated and struggled. Sleep was out of the question and didn't visit. He imagined his friend's parents searching for his friend, the police informed and parents worrying in anguish. When morning came he had really become sick. His eyes were red and his mother decided not to send him to school. As he went back to sleep he heard a knock on his door and a muffled voice asking for him. He panicked and his knees became weak. He couldn't hear what his mother replied but foot steps followed his mother to his room. He sank deeper into his bed, wishing if it could sallow him and hid him from whatever or whoever that was coming.

A hand yanked his blanked back and it was his friend's face. For the first few seconds, he thought he was hallucinating. He then saw his friend break into convulsive laughters, he fell from the bed and holding his stomach he continued to laugh.

The swimmer had actually managed to cross the river but he didn't dare try it again from the other side. He had been carried down quite a distance by the river. He had to walk few kilometers till the nearest bridge, bear foot and naked before reaching home.