Hyderabad: When I first forayed into the teaching profession, the most attractive thing I found about it was the array of bright and eager faces of smiling children, filled with curiosity about the world, a delicate vulnerability outlining the naughty twinkle in their eyes. My first students were tiny little 4-year-olds, and each day with them was filled with its joys, chaos, trials and tribulations.
Every morning brought with it a new challenge to be overcome, yet there was never a tedious moment at any point of time. There were some hilarious moments too. These were all kids, and their innocent conversations and antics were the stuff of great entertainment!
There was this child in my class (she must be a teenager now, let’s call her M) who was, as we teachers say, a chatterbox. Lively and creative, she would make friends with everyone and, after quickly finishing the day’s tasks, proceed forthwith to ask me all kinds of questions on any and every topic she could think of. One day, she sat on the backbench, deep in conversation with a new classmate. It went something like this:
M: “What is your name?”
C: ” My name is C.”
M: “My father is a doctor. What is your father?”
C: “I don’t know.”
M: ” I know everything!”
C: “What do you know? “
M: ” My father is a doctor, my mother is a lawyer. My uncle is also a doctor. My aunt is a decorator. Both my grannies are cookers!”I couldn’t stop laughing. To this day, I can remember the animated little face and the self-confidence of the child. A few days later, there was an event in the school. All the parents were invited and an interactive session was planned. The school music teacher was a young guitarist who was a favourite with the kids.
For the opening act, as an ice breaker, he played a few songs for the kids and parents. Then he asked if any of the children would like to come up and recite a nursery rhyme. Up went one little hand, and I leave you to guess who it was. My little mischief-maker walked up to the stage while I looked on, my heart pounding in my rib cage.
She took the mic into her hand, looked at me with a big smile and started singing a very popular Telugu movie song, which roughly translates into, ” Hey, the golden chick is here, wearing a beautiful saree!” There was a roar of laughter,as my colleagues looked at me with sympathy. Thankfully, no one thought that I was teaching those songs in class!
There is a very popular saying..” Children are great imitators,so give them something great to imitate”. Unfortunately, Sports Day at nursery school proved it right for all of us. A few weeks before the event, one of my colleagues injured her foot and started limping.
Parade practice was in full swing and we, as class teachers, were supposed to lead our class lines during rehearsal sessions. This was because these small kids insisted on listening to their teachers, and no one else. So there we were, marching to the drum, while the tiny tots followed us like ducklings. My colleague slowly limped her way through the practice sessions. D day arrived. We all stood in our stands, the kids were on their own today. To our utter horror and amusement, one class was limping most rhythmically and synchronously, happily going left limp- right-left limp-right!
To this day, the school video bears testimony to the absolute obedience displayed by the tiny students of LKG A.
A teacher’s life is full of such memories. We laugh at our student’s antics. We make their success and failures our own. We try to analyze them and understand them. We complain when they make noise, but I have learnt one thing..without their antics and escapades, the school grounds remain lifeless and the school premises stay colorless.
Here’s wishing the good old days back! May our school be filled once again with lively laughter and fun!
Gitanjali primary school