Just think, if somebody gives you an invaluable & unknown sapling and trusts you to take care of it, the condition being, you have to plan for its care, keeping in mind what it will be 20 years from now, what sort of flowers or fruits it will gift to the world 20 years from now, the soil it needs, the amount of sunlight it needs, the type of water it needs, the manure it will need – all depending on what it will be 20 years from now, about which you have no idea, how will you take a decision, mind-boggling isn’t it ….. and if you are given thousands of saplings …..
The analogy though not perfect, the situation is similar. Parents trust us with children or should I say babies and we have to plan for what they are going to be as adults 20 years from the time they join the school. When we look at the enormity of the responsibility, it is indeed overwhelming, specially as we are going to affect eternity. We cannot tell children, as Mark Twain perhaps would have said, not to allow their schooling interfere with their education. How then do we plan ?
It does become easier if you stand on the shoulders of giants like Vishnu Sharma, Abraham Lincoln or J.Krishnamurthy. All of us know that none of these people spoke about Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, History, Geography etc. The lessons taught in the Panchatantra had produced kings. Whenever I am in doubt about what to teach children, I go back to Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher. J.K has clarified everything by just differentiating between ‘Function & Status’.
When I joined Jeevana in 1994 without any previous experience, I was puzzled by many of the decisions taken by our Chairman on various aspects of schooling but with time I learnt that ALL of them made a lot of sense, infact they are the only ones that will work in the field of education. Gradually, I realised that we teachers of Jeevana are standing on the shoulders of yet another giant – our Chairman, Mr M.S.Iyengar.
The website being launched now is new but all the aspects of education enumerated, reflect the wisdom of years of experience. When implemented properly they will definitely help Jeevanites not just 20 years from now but for a lifetime and more.
We are in the 35th year and as the principal, my request to my teachers remains the same , “Please ensure that all the children are happy coming to school”, learning takes place easily when children are happy. I also request teachers frequently to take care of themselves and have the correct life-work balance, so that they can also be happy coming to school. Utopia ? Not really, it is a very pragmatic reminder, for as John Dewey said, “Education is not just a preparation for life but life itself”. A happy life is indeed a meaningful life.
We are sure that all our children will grow up to be contributing individuals to the society and be an example for the future generations. Our little saplings will grow up to be sturdy trees, rooted firmly in the values of life, facing any tempest, bowing down gracefully without breaking down, providing shade to the not-so-fortunate, spreading fragrance through their blossoms and providing sweet fruits, thereby affecting eternity in a positive way.