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Power of a Story in Teaching Learning Process

It was one Monday morning. I had gone for inspection to the class of four-year olds. The children were at their naughtiest and loudest best. The teacher sitting on her chair was going through the worksheets of children. When the decibel level of the noise by children used to become too high she would tap loudly her duster on the table. A few seconds silence and pandemonium were starting again. It was fun watching children who were defeating all efforts of the teacher for making them do their work quietly. The teacher was nearly at the end of her patience. She had made even a quick round of children but of no avail. I excused myself from the teacher and sat in the middle of children and said,
“Come on let me tell you a story!”
One sentence and their eyes started shining with attention. No tapping of duster or running after the children. They were all ears
Such is the power of the story telling in class, students young or old, all crave for it. From maths to history and from languages to Value Education all subjects fit themselves into this method of the story telling.
As a learning method, stories by their very charm of forming a pleasant association and links in brain tend to stay fresh for almost the whole life. Even after 50 years the only classes that the students will remember will be the ones when any story was told. The concepts that will have the longest memory will be the ones associated with stories.
For leaving a pleasant memory in the minds of your students for being a great teacher, become a great story teller.
Nevertheless, it needs preparation and a habit of reading. Only then you can be ever equipped to be a great teacher.

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LOVE IS THE KEY TO DEVELOPMENT
When the child first moves out of his home environment he/she is likely to be slightly distressed.
This article is about How to Welcome your new lovely young entrants to the school.

Facts About Children – Let us understand them

Remember the new entrants to your school have so far been living in the shelter of their house where they have been for most of the time in one to one care by either their mother or grand parents.

They may have following problems

1. The child has not been in the company of so many children.
2. He/she has not shared his things.
3. He/she has not been away from his parents for long hours in a different environment.
4. Some children may not have fully developed their language abilities and communication to express their problems. http://www.punyapublishing.com/learning-is-fun.html
5. May not have properly developed their toilet habits.

What it Means for the Young Child?

This sudden separation from the caregiver (Mother) and being among strangers may cause a certain amount of fear and insecurity in the child. If proper care is not taken he/she may start fearing coming to the school.

What should we do?

Preparation of the Classroom

It would be ideal that we make the classroom and seating of children as flexible and homelike as possible in the beginning so that he/she is not shocked by the change in the transition period.
You can put all the tables in the centre of the room and chairs around.
Purchase some simple and not very expensive rubber toys from the market sufficient in quantity so that each child can have at least one toy to play. When children enter the class place all the toys on the table so that they start selecting the toys and get distracted from the thought of being away from their home.

Attention Span

It is quite possible that the children will be bored with the toys in a short while. If you have an arrangement you can play a song/rhyme for them or sing some rhymes.
Children are very happy with singing and rhymes and in no time all of them will get busy with that.

Next you can tell them a story. Remember children have a great hunger for stories. They can listen to the same story again and again and still enjoy it.

Simple visuals by making puppets with paper or drawings on a paper to stick on a flannel board can be very helpful at this stage http://www.punyapublishing.com/images/lif/06.jpg

Some Do’s in the beginning

1. You can keep the day for children an hour or so shorter.
2. Explain to the parents that you have absolutely perfect arrangements so they should not be too anxious about their child and hence pass their anxiety to the child.
3. If possible welcome the children in the morning at the gate as they come to school in the first week.
4. Interact with parents as much as possible.
5. Do not get angry if some children are crying. They will get over the insecurity and the pain of separation slowly.
6. Try to understand and empathise with both parents and the child.
7. Do not push the child give him/her very simple activities such as

scribbling away on the paper. http://www.punyapublishing.com/learning-is-fun.html
8. Encourage and love the children as much as you can.

Prepare Yourself For Some of the following situations

We must prepare ourselves for handling the following situations with patience.

1. A child messing up his clothes.
2. Child throwing temper tantrums.
3. Any exigency or accident – so keep the addresses and phone numbers of parents ready with you.
4. See that the classroom, its furniture, toys as well as swings etc. are all checked up for minimizing any situation of physical harm to children.
5. Keep all small objects including erasers etc. away from children which they can put into their mouth or push into their nose etc.
6. All electrical connections should be safely insulated.
7. If you have a water play arrangement please be very sure about

sufficient number of adults with children when they are near water even if the water tub is not very deep.
8. Refer for safety words http://www.punyapublishing.com/learning-is-fun.html

We know that most of you may be knowing and doing many of these things but my effort is to underline them once again as a gentle reminder for the preparation for the new session.
Poonam S Kohli
http://www.punyapublishing.com
info@punyapublishing.com

These are painful days for school education scene in India. The heat of Delhi is taking its toll and bringing out in open the worst frustrations and neglect on the part of teachers and schools in the form of casualities of students.

A girl died just a week back in a Government school. Her crime was she was poor. Probably she had nobody to teach her English alphabet at home. The teacher it is said got frustrated. She punished the girl who was perhaps ill nourished, suffering from some diseases or perhaps not ( a long enquiry will only tell whom to blame). But the fact remains that an 11 years old girl’s life was cut short. Her last hours must not have had any pleasant memories of her school. What a dark day for parents who may be now wishing that they should have never gone for the slogans of Education for all ( Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan). Even if the girl did not die of the punishment, still why have we to severely punish children.

Now a days teachers in Municipality schools are no longer so ill paid. There are several other professions where there is no job security, hours are much longer, no boon of long summer and autumn holidays and yet people work without throwing their frustrations on others. If teachers are so unhappy; they have no love for their profession and no love for children, it is best that a filtering process is established of attitudinal tests to remove such teachers from the schools. We hear from the Ministry and Government the rules against punishment of this nature but are these rules strictly followed. How many teachers in India have been so far punished for physically abusing their students?

After the death of a poor girl in an ill equipped Government school now we have a young girl in one of the swanky schools of a posh area in Delhi die in utterly deplorable circumstances. Once again there is a need for psychological tests for teachers and Principal. Since last 15 years as some schools have become very coveted for admission, the administrations have lost the humane touch. In the name of discipline, we have gone very far from our students. Why are the Principals not humane and accessible for students? Why do they sit in their glass houses which muffle all the voices coming from outside? If the Principal was accessible, if the teachers were responsive, loving and kind to their students they would have certainly responded to the gasps of a young student suffering from an attack of Asthma and rushed her for an emergency treatment in the school transport before it was too late.

But the administration of highbrow schools is becoming progressively arrogant. There is a show of money power in the schools. Big lobbies likethose of five star hotels welcome you as you enter such schools and you wait there, facing worse than a Government office hierarchy to meet the Principal. If we do not wake up to the fact of going closer to our students we will have many more such incidents.

Is modern technology with an impersonal computer announcing the rules and homework enough? No, we need teachers and principals to understand the needs of students. We need mutual warmth and trust so that students should be able to share their problems with their teachers and get urgent attention. When schools are charging such high fees why don’t they have proper arrangements for an emergency.

Beyond this problem of current callousness are some more still worst fears. Parents will have to be very vigilant that the students who have dared to raise their voice against the callous behaviour of the teachers and principal are not ill-treated and meted out suffering by the teachers and school administration with taunts and poor assessment once the present outcry subsides. This will leave further scars on the psyche of the students who are already shattered by the incident.

Unfortunately, we do not take responsibility of our mistakes. We always find scape goats. And thus the same mistakes keep getting repeated.

We need orientation programs for teachers and principals so that they learn to love and respect themselves in order to love the lives trying to bloom around them.