Yes, it is so. It is always the classroom that seems to pull me up, throwing new light,opening new vistas, bringing in joy and making me experience living. Am I over emphasizing the significance of the classroom ? Perhaps, but for me the classroom means a lot, so much more than any other space I have experienced and I am rather proud to admit it.
I am moved, touched and infinitely blessed to be part of the journey of so many young people I get in touch with through the class rooms. It gives me goosebumps to listen to them share their stories with the rest of the class, opening up, some very intimate details about their lives, displaying their own self- confidence and the trust they repose in me and the rest of their classmates.
Quite recently I was witness to an example of a singular display of faith ,when, as if moved by an invisible force, students in a class of more than 80, stood up, one by one, to share stories of their lives, their achievements without hesitation, with a unique and moving expression of trust in one another.
From stories of travelling from their far off home towns to the Bangalore, to overcoming gender prejudice at home, to making it to events big and small, and to reading news papers or giving commands in the school, the class openly and freely shared experiences that made themselves proud of who they are. It was clear that these experiences were significant milestones in the lives of these young people.And not surprising a majority of those experiences of pride and dejection had something to do with their classroom, the school or the college.
As a trainer and a teacher, I wonder if we who call ourselves educationists are aware of the supreme impact we create on these young people either positively or not so positively. Are we aware that we are somehow impacting them for a life time? Are we aware of the fact that what we say or do is going to be stored in their memories for an entire life time or may even be passed on to the next generation?
Mindfulness in our actions and our words in the classroom, in front of the audience we face day in and day out will enable us to be better at who we are and will most definitely, make a positive difference to the lives of young men and women we deal with each day. Perhaps more than everything else, in terms of the paraphernalia that goes with education today, the ac-fitted classrooms, or the swiveling chairs it is always the teacher who makes a classroom a dear place to the students.
The responsibility is huge, the pressures are too many, the rigors are too demanding, yet, carrying a smile and a kind heart to the classroom is not so difficult to do. Mindfulness in the classroom, sounds great, should be great to do too…