Spread Your Wings
As spring approaches, the work load in most schools increases, what with examinations to be conducted and results being compiled. Both the Staff and Students are under tremendous stress as they strive to meet deadlines. At this time perhaps the only sobering factor or should we say, saving grace is the forthcoming vacation that follows this strenuous phase.
Each child looks forward to the summer holiday which allows them to stay up late, sleep in, enjoy recreational activities and perhaps camp out in the open, and most of all the fact that there is no homework to be done.
Truthfully speaking, every teacher too, looks forward to a vacation. While by and large they mostly look forward to the holiday for the same reasons as the children, yet most of them also carefully plan out a schedule for self-enrichment.
Someone has rightly said –
‘Life isn’t only about finding yourself
Life is also about creating yourself!’
Teachers are like potters, moulding the pliable clay which comes to them in the form of their students. The raw material in each case is different. Grooming and shaping young impressionable minds is not only a challenge but a pretty daunting task. In today’s day and age we as teachers need to be well-equipped in communicative, inter personal and technological skills. Acquiring these skills requires an extra effort which is not possible during the regular school year. However, the vacation is an ideal time to acquire added skills and knowledge and realise our potential. Each one of us has been blessed with a special talent. This is the time to know ourselves. Giving vent to our creativity whether it is in the field of art, music, poetry, counselling or learning a new sport, there is a vast range to choose from. Attending workshops, refresher courses in our specific sphere of work, not only increases our knowledge but also helps master our subjects. Enhancing our skills in the use of visual aids would make our lessons more student friendly and interesting.
In modern times when all of us live in a stressful environment, doing a crash course in Counselling or even going in for a basic course in the Art of Living would equip us in helping our students cope with day to day problems and negative or adverse conditions. Most children need a listening ear and an understanding heart. Reach out to your students and touch a chord in each one. Giving of oneself is the best way to replenish your own resources.
In conclusion, vacations are an opportunity to rejuvenate ourselves in mind and body, arming ourselves with new skills to do our best for those entrusted to our care.
In the words of Louisa May Alcott,
‘Far away there in the sunshine
are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can
look up and see their beauty,
Believe in them, and try to follow
where they lead.’
Sunita John, MA (English), BEd is currently Director-Principal of Auckland House School, Shimla. She worked as convenor and examiner for ICSE/ISC Schools in Shimla and team leader for paper checking for ICSE Board Examinations for two years. She is the winner of several prestigious awards including Rajiv Gandhi Education Excellence Award by Indian Solidarity Council, New Delhi; Award of Honour in the Field of Administration in Educational Institutes and Welfare of Students by Charu Castle Foundation, Shimla; ICS Educational Leadership Award by The Institute for Career Studies, Lucknow; and Best Citizens of India Award by Best Citizens of India, New Delhi.