On teaching kids

My approach to teaching has always been pragmatic
On teaching kids

When austerity hits, either you come out as a conqueror or you get engulfed by the circumstances, choice is yours. All you require is a strong-willed and resilient attitude in order to walk through the triumphs of life. I am a mother of two beautiful kids. Passionate about teaching and trying out my own ideologies in educational field, I always dreamt of opening a school.

In order to gain an experience in the said field I started working as a teacher in various private schools. I have preferably worked with higher classes for couple of years, however, I once got a chance to work with young kids as Mother Teacher of Kindergarten and to my surprise it fascinated me. It didn't confine me only to the academics of children but I also started exploring more with them considering my classroom as a miniature lab and experimenting my ideologies and pedagogies with these young minds. I always moved a step deeper in order to get aware about child's psychological and mental set up. Even I was actively attending my duties during my pregnancy.

When pandemic hit the world, the Schools switched to the remote teachings. During my first delivery, I got 3 discs prolapsed and was not able to walk without support. My world came to stand still, I didn't let the state of my health overpower my resilient spirit, I Joined back my online classes and started nourishing my mind with positivity.

The postpartum phase is very controlling, women get through lot of stress and strain along with the hormonal storm, and after 6 months of working online; joining back duties was an addition to all this. Leaving my child alone at home would have never made me a great parent and a teacher, so my circumstances forced me to resign from my duties.

I started focusing on my parenting skills while taking care of my baby and house hold chores. But I always wanted to add more productivity to my daily routine. The birth of my second child invited few more health issues, I gave up hope of working physically somewhere, and however, my determination didn't let me be in my comfort zone. I tried to strive for my better self. As I never wanted to get consumed by this vulnerable phase of motherhood and decided not to vanish in between four walls of kitchen, therefore, I started attending workshops and kept myself updated.

In schools we usually have 25  to 30 kids in classroom and every child is unique in his or her way then how come a single educational strategy, pedagogy or plan will serve all the kids in classroom. We usually consider the average kids and carry forward our educational objectives but what about the gifted and talented or the slow learners in classroom? What extra efforts we put to bring them all up as per their unique potentialities if we always chant this belief that "every child is unique". How come a same exercise will serve an end of every child in classroom if we have different kids in one class?? Schools are only capable of teaching average children, the above average or gifted or talented rein the pace of average with the time and their potentialities submerge deep into their subconscious whereas the below average kids get  labels and tags as slow learners and the acceptance from both the teachers and parents.

Kids are naive, their journey has just began, labeling will create an acceptance and a firm belief in their minds about themselves. Poor academic achievements are not always because of lower intelligence but other external factors that we as a teachers or parents must try to explore. My approach to teaching has always been pragmatic, where I keep academics such as reading, writing and arithmetic as secondary. My primary focus has always been on mental, emotional, social, physical and moral development during the initial years of life of kids. Pouring readymade information into the minds of children will not make them independent and successful in this world, however, the real life experiences, teaching them how to inhibit impulses, how to manage big angry feelings, how to resiliently handle challenging situations and be thoughtful and conscientious when authoritative figures are not around. Teaching must be fun and children must enjoy it. During my tenure I came across many children who were facing different types of difficulties in their academics and were demanding special attention. I have always tried my level best to provide individual attention to the kids not considering them as a herd of cattle driven together in same direction.

I embarked on my journey of online classes 8 months back and started pursuing my passion remotely toiling to reach all the parents who are struggling with the learning disabilities of their kids and find it very difficult to overcome the situation. The prerequisite for every language development relies on listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities (LSRW). Before working on the language development, we need to focus on the stimulation of these abilities through different ways, and the process must be introduced very early in order to get the desired results in this particular domain of child as language is the only medium to express ourselves and self expression fosters feelings of independence, self advocacy and creativity.

Coming to the language development, children at a very young age have tendency to learn all the skills that can lead to the proper development of language and other domains, but unfortunately this is not an area of focus in many schools mostly in Kashmir, here children at very young age are conditioned to superficial learning’s thus creating defective pathways in their brain and curbing the creativity and logical thinking abilities. The rote memorization and cramming routines develop a state of dependence in children and contain them from becoming early readers, writers and speakers by pruning off their innate abilities (logical thinking, problem solving and creative abilities).

Moreover past few years of pandemic had been very challenging particularly for the parents having small kids who faced academic set back and developed reading and writing difficulties. I am delighted to inform all the parents that I am providing a structured, synthetic and multi-sensory programme that focuses on providing phonemic awareness to the children through play way approach and step by step help them to become early independent Readers-Writers- Speakers.

As of now under the banner of LittleRock Elementary, I have proudly taught more than 100 kids who can read and write independently.

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