Happy Parenting

Parenting is a blessing which comes with a lot of responsibilities. It has been rightly said “Once a parent always a parent”.

Like many other fields such as technology, education etc.-  parenting has also evolved with time. The upbringing and environment provided to the child has drastically changed. Modern influence on parenting has shifted the paradigm from necessity to comfort. In the race of acquisition of materialistic things, the parents provide an atmosphere where the child is always in his comfort zone. Children’s desires have turned into demands. This sort of upbringing is encouraging complex behavioural problems.

Few Steps towards Happiness

Healthy Mind:-

First and foremost, children should be taught about humanity. They should learn to be more resilient so they are prepared for rejections in everyday life. The parent should empathise with their children. They should maintain a balance between love and discipline. The parents should act as role models for their children because children are excellent imitators. They do what they see. They should be taken out of their comfort zone to face the challenging situations.

Fun & Frolic:-

Children are so engrossed in the virtual world that they have almost forgotten the pleasures of playing in natural environment. Children should be encouraged to play outdoor games. Playing outdoor has a lot of benefits. The children learn social skills like team work, co-operation while sportsman spirit and physical fitness come as a bonus package.

Healthy Little Bites:-

The parents must replace junk food with a balanced diet. Healthy eating habit should be encouraged. Google is an effective tool to help parents in this as you can find ways to make even home cooked mundane food interesting. A time out for meditation and Yoga can add wonders to mind, body and soul.

Charity begins from home. To bring a change in the upbringing and nourishment of a child, the change has to start first with the parents. As mentioned above, children are imitators, parents must practice the same in front of the children what they want their children to do. Parenting is the most challenging role. Parents and children must work together for their development. Children are like soft wet clay. They can be molded into any desired shape. Now it all depends upon the potter, what shape do they want to give to the clay.

Apoorva Mishra
VIBGYOR High, Lucknow


The Art and Craft Of Watching Movies

Watching movies is not a chronic waste of time, as many parents are prone to believe, taking away from other more meaningful activities like reading or playing board games. Contrary to popular belief ‘Movies’ are more than simply entertainment bringing zero value to the table. Watching movies can be a meaningful literary activity, honing emotions and developing inner values like empathy, courage, kindness and resourcefulness in our kids. The trick lies not so much in WHAT you watch but rather in HOW you watch it.

The Benefits of watching movies I believe, are myriad

  • Language building: For children who, let’s face it, are unlikely to read, no matter how you push and tug at them; films help them ideate and put words in their heads. They will pick up good, functional and even beautiful language from a well made film.
  • Personality development: Films showcase a range of personality types that grow and morph into magical beings or dark souls based on the events they are experiencing. These emotional journeys speak to us at very personal levels and can fill gaps in our own psyche that help us relate and connect to the world more intimately.
  • Expanding reality and Imaginative thinking: Fiction shows us possibilities; the Mars landing, or wars fought amongst the stars, pushing the limits of our thinking. Real life stories show us the capacity for human triumph and the depths we can plumb. These polarities speak to us in ways that perhaps our daily life cannot, permanently changing the landscape of our minds with each story and each picturisation.
  • Movies show us worlds we can only imagine; Tatooine in Star Wars, Vulcan in Star Trek and prehistoric Earth In Jurassic world. We can also walk on streets of cities and countries far removed from our own, while sitting in one place.
  • Character building: If you cried on the beaches of Dunkirk or marveled at Stephen Hawking’s miraculous turbulent life, if you can feel the pain of victims of war and empathise with both sides when you watch ‘Flags of our fathers’  ( American version) and ‘letters from Iwogima’ ( the Japanese side of the same story)  you are building that most important 21 century skill ‘perspectival thinking’. If you choose to stand up with pride listening to your national anthem because you watched Gandhi and realise at what cost your freedom of today came, you are developing national character. If the horrors of slavery are brought alive when you watch ‘12 Years a Slave’, maybe you will never stand by and watch one set of people enslave another because your conscience has been awakened never to sleep again.

As a teacher I have always told parents to watch movies with their children, to ask questions and discuss each film to its bone. Choose wisely what you watch but include every genre. Cry if you can and laugh loudly, appreciate goodness, friendship, love and sacrifice, show these to your children and make Movie watching the best learning experience of your lives. You’ll never regret it and that magic will set your children aglow.

Let Us Build Bridges

As an educationist any aspect of change in the teacher student relationship impacts me deeply and leads me to introspect and reflect on my role in modern day India. We have long been proud of our traditional methods of education and such hallowed relationships like the one between the teacher and the learner (the guru and the shishya) have been seen as sacrosanct.

Recently there have been many instances which portray this beautiful relationship in a new light – not always positive. Are these rare incidences or do they symbolise the deep chasm that seems to have developed between the tutor and the taught and are they a sign of the times? This has struck at the very basic root of the educational system in India and has created unease and led to soul searching. Indeed it is a wakeup call. If only we could open our eyes, look with compassion and listen with our hearts.

More than that, we have to lend our ears to the pleas of the teaching fraternity toiling under great duress and struggling to enlighten the minds of the future citizens of our nation. Education should be the one area of constant revision, change and improvement for any country which seeks to establish itself as a world power. Revolutionary progress is much needed at all levels of our education system. A complete overhauling of the system and a more open minded approach to teaching and learning should be our clarion call.

Much needs to be done. A constructive and effective dialogue has to be set up between the teachers, the parents and the students. The channels of communication and facilitation should be opened and widened so as to allow for more awareness and understanding. Parents and teachers both have a great impact on the psyche of a young child. If the home environment is conducive and children are encouraged to respect their teachers, then the school too will become a place of illumination and learning. Creating an optimistic feeling towards school and teachers will only help parents to enable their children to establish strong bonds with their alma mater and their teachers. Similarly, school staff too needs to be sensitised to the pressures faced by parents and children today and be facilitated to handle them with sensitivity and sensibility. This will lead to mutual respect and acceptance and further strengthening of the teacher student symbiotic relationship.

Let us begin this noble task. Let us build bridges. Let us make platforms that will enable our future citizens to fly high.

Dot—Distillation of Thoughts

The first step towards manifestation of your intention is to distil your random thoughts.Thoughts which are aligned towards a common outcome are said to be coherent.They have much more energy than the thoughts which contradict each other. Manifestation requires energy.

Thoughts which focus upon negative outcomes deplete your vital brain energy.They are a waste of precious time and energy. How to alter these random thoughts and get used to coherent thinking? By being aware of them.

The process through which we nurture thoughts that facilitate manifestation is known as DOT technique.

Exercise 1) Is it what you really want?

For eg: If you say- I want a promotion. THINK.

Is it a promotion you want? An increment? Or more opportunities? More devotion? More challenges? More responsibilities? The more clarity you have about what you want, the easier it is to manifest.

Exercise 2) Let your thoughts run loose for about 15 minutes. After that write down as many thoughts as you remember. Some thoughts may be cancelling or contradicting each other. Some may be doubtful or fearful.

Exercise 3) Sleeping with the intent- The subconscious mind is bigger and more powerful. It has a huge resource available to it. At times you wake up with a powerful solution that seems to come from out of the box.

“My son doesn’t wear a label, he owns it.”

When I embarked on this journey of becoming a special educator, it was because of my son. Early on I realised he was slightly different from others, even his own brother. His differences were not so apparent in the early years where academics is not a focus but as soon as he hit grade two and his grades started dropping I figured something was “non normal”. That he needed to be handled differently was evident and once I got on board with who he was instead of who I wanted him to be, I began to set his goals accordingly. Since then I’ve figured out a label for him but it’s never mattered because my son doesn’t wear a label, he owns it.

Children with special needs can be a challenge, there is no debating that. But as with many challenges in life you can ride the wave to fortune or let it drown you at the tide. My learnings have been many as a facilitator for these children and I share them in the hope that life will be made easier for those parents and teachers who are lucky to have them in their lives. Remember always that Life is more meaningful when it poses challenges and pushes our heart and minds to embrace them.

As a mother of one such amazing child, here goes my two bit of learning:

Children are like rainbows… A spectrum with many colours, each with its own hue and beauty. Children with special needs are one of those many colours…. Do not expect red to be yellow.

Do not be afraid to set boundaries because they need them more than others…. The earlier you get started with structure, the more beneficial it is for them.

Stop worrying and start doing what’s best for your child. Figure out the small steps and the big ones will fall in place by and by.

Stop hiding from the world. Differences are good. We are all part of the natural diversity of nature. You don’t make fun of diabetics or think them odd for having the condition. Special need requirements are no different.

Trust that the world will accept your child as soon as you do. Because your acceptance is the first step towards integration. More often than not, what parents perceive as rejection by outsiders is in reality a reflection of their own inner turmoil.

Pretending that special requirements don’t exist is the worst possible harm you can do to your own child. Get on board and start rowing… You’ll be surprised how far your child will get with just your help, forget about others.

Connect with the special needs community and trust me it is a large one… The more dots that are joined, the stronger will be the community support for our kids.

It’s not the easiest of journeys but there is lots of adventure on the way, so look forward to the ride… It might turn out to be the best one you have, with the right attitude.

Teaching, Technology and Education

Many a times we are coerced and cajoled into a profession we may be least interested in. But somewhere down the line, this abominable profession becomes our passion and one learns to excel in it.

What was once considered as a housewife’s profession has resurrected itself as the most challenging and demanding job. From coping up with the needs of the family and delivering classroom instructions, teachers have embellished way beyond one’s apprehension.

Apart from this, teachers and teaching have flourished incorporating technology into teaching. Teachers’ secrets to success have been in planning and implementing these instructions into their teaching which has paved a path for prosperity for the learners.

This unreasonable and impossible job of igniting the young minds of the learners lies on the delicate, yet sturdy shoulders of teachers. The whole and sole ambition of teachers lies in the aim to spark the lamp of learning and quench the thirst of gaining knowledge.

Thus, teachers have turned to the aid of technology. Technology is a FORCE MULTIPLIER for the teacher. Instead of the teacher who at a point of time was the only source of help in a classroom is no longer the sole bearer of the burden of teaching and learning. Technology is equated to a TEACHER LIBERATOR. But before this, the novice (teachers) have to master their skills (technology). In fact to re-establish the role of teacher, inculcating values within and outside the classroom, teachers and technology have to formulate a collaboration, a partnership which helps to create a community which nurtures, encourages and supports the learning and teaching process.
Technology makes the classroom, learner-centered. It strongly encompasses methods of teaching that shifts the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student. Keeping in mind the multiple intelligences present in a classroom situation, technology unfolds many new methods of learning. Be it linguistic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, logical, mathematical –technology has an appropriate response to all.

Technology has the ability to enhance the relationship between teachers and students. Teachers effectively integrate technology into subject. Teachers grow into roles of advisors, content experts, and coaches. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun.

Technology stimulates the Teaching and Learning process. Technology provides the teacher with numerous tools that they can use. Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new generation of teaching skills. Technology links teachers to their students and to professional content, resources, available in various forms to help them improve their own instruction and personalise learning in and out of the classroom. Technology augments student learning process which is the key to success.

The role of educational technology in teaching is of great importance because of the vast and immense information and communication technologies present with the ever evolving technology which is adamantine. Distance education, satellite classrooms is also made possible due to technology. The Internet teachers and the internet students have opened doors to the inaccessible class and mass of learners.

The VIBGYOR Group of Schools has always believed in providing the best to the best. Under the aegis of our dynamic and vivacious Chairman Mr Rustom Kerawalla and the relentless efforts of our very own irrefutable and indubitable Vice Chairperson Ms Kavita Sahay, and the entire intransigent VIBGYOR family, the group like technology is ever evolving with time and experience. We have implemented the latest, state of the art technology in all spheres of our work. Without a doubt, technology has been the scaffolding to the success of VIBGYOR Group of Schools and we wish to transfer this success to our future – the learners at VIBGYOR.