Thursday, 19 September 2013
Learn to Educate
When one thinks of Education & Learning, sometimes one can see the wide grey area in between the two. The gap through which many a minds could fall through for want of better guidance. My little one, a bright girl with mischief in her eyes is all and more than I could have asked for. Her attitude towards learning was amazing and she grasped all the newness around her eagerly. Her interest in the alphabet, in numbers, in books, in Computers & TV was a treat to observe. I use the past tense because the minute conventional schooling began, this slowly started waning. It was sad to see the decline in her seeking spirit and to see her total dis-interest in the learning process.
It came to a point where she was put in special classes to catch up with her class and was still unable to. Seeing her struggle made me realise that i had not been a dumb brain in school. I too had probably had learning problems like my little one. The time had come for us as parents to take the pressure of performance off our child and help her start learning again, Since we both are from conventional educational backgrounds and firmly based in India, choosing an International School is nothing short of radical. Here, we bid good-bye to the traditional learning methods based on grade specific textbooks and rely on syllabus designed keeping the age of the child in mind. For us it was a leap of faith which we are not regretting at all!
Candor International School, Bangalore is everything and more than we expected. The very first visit is comforting and personal. Its obvious that the School is not about the Syllabus, or the Campus, or the Principal, or Mahesh Bhupati’s Tennis Academy. The School is all about the Students, the most important subject in this institution! Everything from the Menu to the Music room to the Science Laboratories at Candor are designed keeping the students in mind. The School believes in giving the required freedom within boundaries and to help the child soar when the occasion calls for it. The mode of discipline is not punishment but knowing the consequence of one’s action. On a personal level, this is in line with my belief in the Buddhist principle of “Cause and Effect”. I think the only way to get a child to learn is to involve the child in the learning process and that is what the school has grasped. So, if the child is having difficulty catching up, she’s given as much help as she needs to learn concepts. So, also on the other hand if the child is ahead of class and needs to be challenged, they have an honours program where they nominate children to attempt the next level of studies!
There are changes in my daughter, changes which surprise us and the people who know her. Positive changes that have only been encouraged and nurtured by the school. Her previous school hugely helped us by identifying the problem we had at hand. Candor is on its way to empowering her to work with the talent she has. As she loves engaging with people, her logical thinking skills are being honed slowly but surely. Case in point:
Student: Mom! Today teacher asked me what my hobbies are!
Mom: Oh wow baby that’s great! So what did you say?
Student: Maa…I didn’t know what to say because nobody in any school ever asked me about my hobbies! I just told teacher I love Tennis. I wanted to tell more things but was feeling shy.
Having spent the next few days in an encouraging environment, the student thought about it and told the teacher ten hobbies! This was in the first few days. Once the homeroom discussions started and various interesting topics were introduced in class, our little student became confident enough to discuss things she wouldn’t have thought of earlier:
Student: Papa! Do you believe in going to the temple to pray to God?
Papa: I believe that if I do my job well and treat people with respect, “He” will bless me.
Student: Papa, you can’t say “He” because I think God has no gender!
Both Mom and Dad almost fell off their respective chairs! Three cheers to Candor and a Big Thanks for giving our confident, inquisitive, seeking, enthusiastic child back to us! As a parent, I want to participate in this process of learning. It would be my pleasure to be a part of School and help write so many success stories that are in the making!
Will I ever put undue pressure on my child to perform? Never! Is it possible to lead a change in education by example? Maybe. Would I continue choosing learning over education? Most definitely Yes!