Thursday, April 10, 2008

A love for the language

'Can I attend school with Pavan tomorrow? I am kind of out of touch with what he is learning.' I write in the boy's diary.
'Sure,' she replies.

Navjyoti ma'am, class teacher of the multi-age class at Riverside school, Ahemadabad.

What a pleasure it is to watch her interacting with the kids. She talks to them in a well modulated voice, with clear pronunciation, better than any narrator I have worked with. More than that, she gives them her full attention, something I need to learn as a mother.

They are rehearsing for a play, 'Wizard of Oz'. They have seen the movie many times over, and whatever they remember is the guide for their dialogs and actions.

'Maam, how to show the house twirling and falling?' one kid asks.

'Let us make a house from thermo col ' says another.

'No, let us make a house from two of us. Then we can hold hands in an A shape, and go round and round and fall.' says director number three.

'And you can hang a dupatta over the house like this. Now, does this look like a house?' says Navjyoti.

Pavan is playing the wicked witch of the east and west, he has to fall under the house. The two boys fall on him and he yelps.

'All right, all of you. Come and sit down in front of me. Pavan, you sit next to me. Now, this is where you learn about team work. All of you are working together, that is team work. When you fall on Pavan, you must take care not to hurt him. Let us practice how you fall. . .'

Finally, it is time for the parent- teacher one to one.
'His spellings are very bad. His handwriting is awful.' I say, before she will say it.

'Don't worry about his spellings and handwriting. This is a computer age. He will learn spelling at his own speed. What is more important is that we inculcate in him a love for the language. Let him learn to express himself. Talk to him in English, read out stories to him every night, to the point when he starts thinking in English. Don't force him to learn, learning should be as natural as joy.' she advices.

I am almost in tears. A love for the language, she said. These words struck a deep chord in me. Yes, this is something I have. A love for the language. And what does it really mean? To be able to express myself, to articulate and appreciate the texture of an entire cosmos.

The ultimate truth may be beyond words.

For this moment, God is the Word.


Samir Sanghavi said...

I remember when you shared this. It's kind of engrossed from that day on. Thanks for sharing again! - Samir

Banno said...

Pavan is one lucky boy to have such a wonderful teacher! (and Mom). Schools here are so regimental, can't imagine they would let a parent sit in for a class. Or not rave and rant about spelling.