“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
― William Arthur Ward
Teaching is the noblest profession of all. It is thus, unfortunate, that monetary covetousness has begun to tinge it. However, there still are few people who teach out of passion, and out of sheer dedication. They do it out of the goodness of their hearts and empathy towards the kids. They are a rarity though- and CRY volunteers step up to take up this mantle of the good Samaritans.
These volunteers, who are devoted to the cause, ensure that nothing interferes with the children’s education.
And so, on a balmy Sunday morning when most people were just beginning to stir in their slumber, a group of volunteers was stepping up to make a difference.
In the volunteer training session organized by CRY on the subject of creative engagement with children, over 25 volunteers zealously learned, shared and expressed their sentiments on working with children.
For volunteers, old and new alike, the training turned out to be an extensive learning experience.
For me, as an intern, the session came as an eye opener. It offered a refreshing take on the world view of a child; and through the training the volunteers were coached on how to be a part of it. We engaged, participated and were enthralled to learn what could be captivating to a child.
The volunteers were asked to share their experiences and address any doubts regarding teaching methodologies. And share; they did. They fondly recounted the enthusiasm they were greeted with, and the smiling faces they taught.
It could be a challenge to keep a class of roughly 40 energetic kids engaged in factual and textual information. Hence, the activities that energize them are the ones that need to be incorporated into their routine.
Commencing with acts as simple as pacing around the room and a series of ice breakers, the training delved deeper into more interactive activities like storytelling and art. They were amusing, led to introspection and provided an insight into child cognition and comprehension.
“I feel 10! Young and alive” proclaimed one volunteer, clearly enthused by the hands-on approach the training adapted. Engaging the children with their peers as well as with the volunteers was the key to hold their attention, it was deduced.
In a time where we speak with conviction of defending our liberty and freedom, it is ironic to note that the rights of children are often neglected. The volunteers were not just at length told of the alternative ways this can be dealt with, but also coached on finer aspects of the problems these kids might face.
The volunteers were also taught how to work with large groups of children and keep them engaged and interested throughout the session with games and breezy activities. Children have a vivid imagination and channelizing their energies into honing them goes a long way into developing their mental dexterity.
They possess boundless potential within them. The need to explore it is dire; as are the means we adapt to discover them.
It was uplifting to observe the zeal interactive activities incite in adults and children alike.
It could be something as simple as mirroring their friends or making up a story, a sentence a time and it would teach the kids how to relate and connect with people in a better manner.
The day-long training inspired and enlightened. It boiled down to the fact that in order to inculcate the values and concepts in the minds of the children it is more important to be able to imbibe them into one’s own persona first.
Shruti Bhatnagar, CRY Intern, Mumbai (Amity University)