Monday, August 29, 2022

Seema's Journal - Key To Unleasing the Hero in Every Child


Seema Devi, an edu-leader from Gaya has put in a great deal of hard work in supporting the learning journey of the children of a school in her village in Bihar while learning and re-learning her own notions.Every day she ensures that her duties for the day are completed but she doesn't stop there. She meticulously plans the course for the next day to be on top of the game. Since the initial days at the fellowship, an idea struck her; to journal her time at school.

This gave her the space that she required to think freely and not be bound by the normal conventions of what was expected of her role as edu leader . This provided an avenue to process thoughts as she began bullet journaling by answering her questions such as-

  • What is the aim of today's class?
  • What does my job as an edu leader entail?
  • Did I succeed in delivering the objectives of the lesson for the day?
  • Was I able to successfully impart in the minds of the students what I set out to fulfill?
  • How are students responding to her ?

While collecting this information was challenging at times due to its qualitative nature, Seema manages with her keen observation skill and feedback from her students.

Upon continuing with the practice, her outlook on the process and her role as an edu leader gains a new dimension as she tries and succeeds in comprehending how any activity performed in the classroom has a deep impact in not just their minds but also their EQ and overall development.

This meant going the extra mile, to keep an eye on the pursuits of the students.

As her Eureka moment was possible only because of her newfound passion for journalling, Seema goes on to pass this knowledge trail to fellow edu leaders who are equally fascinated by their newfound recognition of the infinite details in their students' behavior and psychology.

To ensure the modus operandi was kept alive, regular dialog with other edu leaders was started to keep up the banter. On one such occasion, Seema recollects that she had been in touch with a fellow edu leader for over a week and on engaging in talks about their on-the-job experience it took her and others over a day to understand the experiences of the predecessor that helped them all make useful inferences.

Upon further review of the journal, the personality traits of the students became more and more evident, more so than would have been possible had the edu leaders merely relied on their communication skills and not jotted down their interactions with every student, which further strengthened her belief on penning down one's impressions and purpose after clocking out.

She also throws in caution that while it is important to jot down your activities, it mustn't be done to prove a point to a superior, guilt trapping a fellow educator by projecting superiority, making a pretense by displaying false claims or using it as a means to offhandedly project job not done. Instead, it should be undertaken with due diligence knowing that each student deserves your attention and while it might be difficult for those edu leaders who have a larger class population, one can always learn through experimenting for oneself and adopting best practices.

She concludes by stating that-

When I started working as an Edu-leader I was only aware of myself - what I did in class, what I did outside class, and how I had prepared for the day. But now I am becoming more and more conscious – of the vital role of the child. After all, the learner is the child and his function is the most important.

Credits: Seema is an edu-leader in Gaya, Bihar. Shruthi works with Tata group. She is volunteering with i-Saksham to bring stories from the field to you.

Meet Danish, the curious green warrior in Munger, Bihar

Edu-leader Babita went on with her day, as usual, especially given that it was the beginning of a productive week undertaking the task of observing the ongoing classes and came to check in on a class handled by edu-leader Sama when she encountered a little boy and her interaction with him fascinated her beyond belief. It is in the simplicity of everyday life and the mundane things of nature that children find joy and this awareness itself is beautiful.

As Babita entered the class buzzing with activity, her attention immediately fell on a little boy looking outside at the corn fields that were located behind the premises of the school and there in his hand was a corn stalk that he had gripped tightly so as to not let go.

She slowly went up to him and asked him to introduce himself. He courteously replied that his name was Danish. Having realized that Babita had noticed the corn stalk in his hand asked her if she knew what the item in his hand was. Babita, to assess the depth of his understanding, faked surprise and asked him to tell her what the flowering plant in his hand was.

Upon completing class observation, Babita decides to ask edu-leader Sama, who is more experienced in handling these kids, about Danish’s intrigue. Sama explains that he is a student in grade four and is involved in Story Writing Activities. Any story that he creates and narrates has elements of plants and trees in them. He never misses a chance to learn more about the green life around him. To learn more about Dhanish’s engrossment in this subject, Babita met up with his mother, who elaborates on his interest with enthusiasm stating that not only does he enjoy gathering information on plants and trees but in fact, he cherishes planting them and enjoys watching them grow from scratch. In his house, he had an area separated solely to grow flowering plants and fruits. 

In an age where deforestation due to excess human consumption has caused problems of severe environmental degradation, to see a fourth grader not just show interest in planting seeds for tomorrow as a theory but show involvement and get to work without any external push is a wonderful sight to behold. Babita was convinced that the future of India looked greener in hands of such young citizens of tomorrow.

Credits: Babita is a peer-mentor to edu-leaders in Munger. She shared this experience. Shruthi works with Tata group and is volunteering with i-Saksham.