Keen to learn more about inclusive workplaces? Want to be inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community? Download our special report with Randstad India on making Inclusion without Exception happen
Having a note written to the parents in the school diary is the ultimate horror for every school student but what if these are used to write little notes of appreciation?
We don’t know how long our words stay in someone’s mind and heart. They might stay there long after we have forgotten them.
Being in the teaching profession gives me enough opportunity to speak every day. What I utter is a mixed bag because I face so many situations at school. Sometimes words are backed by anger, sometimes frustration and sometimes care.
It is our responsibility to stand like a beacon and guide the students in the right direction. The first step towards this is making them learn to respect you and your methods.
However, if a child refuses to comply, the teacher has to inform the parents by writing a note in the diary. I am no different. But this year, I made a small change in this habit and fortunately, it worked wonders!
It was during the first term examinations when Purohit came to my notice because of his below average performance. His work was incomplete, the teachers complained about his distracted behaviour, his contribution to the class activities was negligible and his marks were low. Knowing that the parent would come to collect the report card for the parent-teacher meeting day, I brushed aside the matter for that moment.
“Ma’am, Purohit has not been doing well in class. He is taking much longer than expected to adjust to the new grade. His inability to cope with all the subjects is leading to bad scores. He is too distracted to work on anything,” I finished in one breath when I saw Purohit’s mother on the D day. The mother’s dour face scared me a little but I thought it was better to be honest.
“Purohit was never like this. I have cornered him several times and demanded an explanation. But he has nothing to say. So, I really don’t know why he has become like this,” she said solemnly.
I could see the pain in her eyes. Purohit had his head bent throughout the conversation. He did not say anything and that troubled me for days. I had never seen a child so helpless. I could imagine the stress on his mind.
He was being rebuked, being punished and being laughed at. Isn’t that a lot already for a child? His mother and I decided to make him feel comfortable and encourage him to open up and feel good about himself.
Weeks flew as fast as the speed of light. Purohit started showing some signs of improvement. But he refused to open up. No matter how much I tried to take him into confidence, he just ended the conversation with- ‘Ma’am, nothing happened. I just don’t know why I became like that’. I wondered if he wanted to keep things under the wraps and did not probe him further.
In a month’s time, Purohit’s English test was due. Unlike his previous performance, he aced the test and couldn’t believe his ears when I announced his name in the class. Even his classmates were surprised. But some of his (new) friends patted his back. His coy face brightened that day. Gradually the wrinkles on his forehead vanished and he regained his lost charm. He did well.
He promised me that he would submit the English notebook with completed work. And he did that. One month before the final term examination, I decided to inform those parents whose children had not been submitting work or had been scoring low marks in tests. As I collected the diaries, I also asked Purohit for his diary. It was like I had dropped a bombshell. He was taken aback. But I did not say anything. I wrote a small note to his mother saying:
It gives me immense pleasure to inform you that Purohit has been doing well in English. His work is complete and now he takes an interest in the lessons. He has also made some new friends in class. Congratulations!
I called him out and said that there was a surprise for him in the diary and told him to get the note signed by his mother. He didn’t seem to understand anything. I chose not to explain.
Next day, he was all smiling in the classroom. I knew my words of appreciation had done their job. As soon as I entered the classroom, he rushed towards me and showed me his diary. His mother had sent another note.
Thank you for this surprise. This made our day!
That day I realized the true value of words. Using the school diary only for the purpose of complaining wasn’t fair. Shying away from appreciating the good and taking a step forward in complaining about the bad is our nature.
But I learnt what a difference a small change in attitude can make.
Picture Credits: Pexels
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
An educator by day an author by night, Enakshi is also an eminent book reviewer. Having worked as a freelance content writer, she now writes for several literary magazines and journals. A post graduate in read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
No law in the country recognises enabling the rapist to walk free after marrying the survivor. However, in reality, it is something that families and communities often push for.
In the same week where the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 11 May, saw a split decision on the constitutionality of the marital rape exception, another equally reactionary decision was handed by a divisional bench of the Supreme Court when they set aside the conviction and sentence of a man who had repeatedly raped his 14 year old niece
The facts of the case are simple. The accused, K Dhandapani, enticed his 14 year old niece with the promise of marriage and raped her several times. The family came to know of the offence when the girl became pregnant, and a case was lodged against him under the Protection of Child from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. After trying his case, in 2018, the Sessions Court found him guilty on all three counts, and convicted him and sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. The accused appealed to the Madras High Court which upheld the conviction and the sentence in 2019.
The girl gave birth in 2017, before the case came up in court. Despite the pending case against him, he continued to have sexual relations with the girl, and she gave birth to her second child at the age of 17.