Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Walk

Took most of the Pallavs and Asba on a lovely walk in my Outdoors workshop time today. Yesterday with the Kiris, discovered a beautiful shady tamarind tree about 15-20 min walk away from school, next to a thoughtfully designed farm-house where a large, gentle dog also lives. The tree is lovely to climb but we didn't have the time for that today. Was struck by the kids' openness and happiness at being out on a walk, which had no explicit purpose (except that I mentioned there was a nice place we would head to).


There was running, balancing-walking on a narrow stone ledge, talking, some inspired and very funny bird-watching going on (with urgent calls for silence from six-year olds), all entirely initiated by the children. We had to head back pretty much as soon as we reached the spot; about a minute after we got to the spot I suggested we have a couple of minutes' quiet time -- one got a sense that behind the chatter there had been quietness and attention throughout the walk from school, and felt a need to create a little space for it to emerge. It was wonderful, those two minutes of quiet, around the tree after that walk, Nachi hanging off a branch, the others watching things, sitting, absorbing the new place (perhaps) -- no resistance at all, except some secretive talking from a couple of them. We were just quiet for that bit, and then headed back, all just as happily. I realised I had come to anticipate some resistance - perhaps from what I see of the older students right now, but it actually seems so natural for that quiet and observing quality to have been there! Such a sense of order.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A conversation on the van journey

10-year old student: What did you decide to say Shibumi was, in that invitation?

Teacher: A school concerned with bringing up free, responsible and sensitive children... what do you think?

Student: Hmm... I think I am both free and responsible. But sensitive, I still have to be.

Teacher: What do you mean by free?

Student: I can do most things I'm interested in at school. Most students can.

Teacher: What about responsible?

Student: I think I'm responsible.

Teacher: What about when I have to shout out to call you for an activity even though you've heard the bell? :)

Student: Well, then I'm doing something I think is important. It doesn't feel irresponsible just because you want me to do something else!

Teacher: Why did you say you still have to be sensitive?

Student: Because that's the thing I am least!

Teacher: In what way?

Student: I still tease people and make fun of them.