I speak for every educator who has worked with children in the field of education – young or old that despite all the pedagogies, learning strategies and new methodologies that we embrace in a learning environment, unless you are passionate and recognize every child’s spirit for who she or he is, the path cannot be defined. You simply have to care enough and that perhaps is the beauty of all the talented and committed teachers that we work with as part of JBCN International Schools. Every school must have a soul… and that soul is what distinguishes us as pioneering and progressive schools.
Yesterday when I was at JBCN Oshiwara, a little girl came up to me and said, “Ms Fatima, please don’t ever give us so many holidays during summer. It is super boring at home and my parents just can’t cope with my needs!!!” All of 10 and already charged with confidence and reflection, her request made us smile and when I reminded her that teachers need to spend some time with their families, and also need to plan for the year ahead and be trained with new methods so that they could become better teachers, she simply replied, “Oh they are just fine… and we are their family now!!!” This little JBCN-ite may just be the next Clinton staging her claim to become the next President of the United States! A warm embrace and a smile settled her back into her Math challenge and moments like this make every day so special at JBCN. There is freedom to express, there are conversations and there is a sense of belonging. A school cannot simply be about academic excellence or creative expressions, a school is all about reflections and learning and the freedom to express.
In Parel, 3 days ago a very eloquent boy in Sr kg decided that he just didn’t want to enter the school premise and insisted on discussing why schools were overrated outside the glass doors!! This five year old, a possible lawyer in the making said, “Ms Fatima – basically we learn a few things, we play, and then have to write it all down…. that’s the part I don’t like. I wish, like the world of magic, I could dictate and the words will flow on paper. Have you heard of the iPen?” The next half an hour, we spent outside the glass doors discussing the pros and cons of schools, dreams and reality which finally resulted in him finding his place in class with a defiance that he won’t have fun. During dispersal when greeted again, I was grateful for the lesson he learnt, “I guess if you try a bit, it isn’t so bad after all! I will remember this Ms Fatima!”
When we experience moments like these, it is difficult to believe that we as educators ever wanted to be anywhere else other than with children.
Last Friday, Investiture Ceremony in Borivali was another lasting memory as young leaders shared their vision for the school. Six years ago, these little ones were barely ready to face their friends in class and today, just like experienced orators, they expressed themselves with clarity and confidence conveyed a powerful message of unity and integrity. When asked what the secret of their confidence, ” Ms Fatima – our teachers have motivated us, nurtured us, laughed and cried with us to get us here. How can I not be confident? This is for them!”
A glimpse into 2016-17 already reassures us that our learners are set on their path, safe in the knowledge that we care and strive very hard to make each day a memorable experience for them.
I was watching Barrack Obama’s Democratic Convention speech this morning and he said, “Hillary as part of her journey has made mistakes. Just as I have. Just as you have. But she never stopped trying or caring. She kept trying, and prodding along because she has a clear vision. And dreams are possible because people dare, take risks and have support”
At JBCN, we remain humbled and more determined simply because WE DO CARE and WE TRY and with your support and faith, we will endeavor to dream more and keep these children happy and content.
Looking forward to 2016-17 and it promises to be an extra ordinary year in all our three schools, Fatima Agarkar, Board Member JBCN International Schools
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