Give light and people will find their way – Ella Baker
Hello friends, in one lifetime if you can give proper direction to at least one diverted soul and help him or her to find the right way to their destination, then you can rest assured that you have done your job well as a living being. Sometimes our words or action can have profound impact on the person we are dealing with. If we handle the matter delicately and tactfully, the positive changes are bound to occur. I must tell you my experience with an unruly child, belonging to 5th grade.
You see, when a boy is marked out as a bad or naughty kid after one or two indiscretion on his part, he himself starts believing that he is indeed an unruly boy and go on behaving like one. The teachers are also quite exasperated by the long list of the complaints against him, and would deal with him sternly issuing him repeated warnings not to misbehave. But such warnings are hardly ever any deterrent for the kid.
When I joined the school the other teachers cautioned me to be careful with this child. When I got to deal with him, I found that they were absolutely right, he was quite a nuisance. Always on the look out for creating disturbances , harassing and annoying other children. There was a continuous flow of complaint against him. Teaching in this atmosphere was really hard.
With an acquired grave look, for once I stopped teaching and asked the boy to come over to me, at the front. A hush was prevailed on the entire class, all were curious about how the new teacher will punish him. There was a nonchalance and a look of indifference in the boy’s face, as if he is getting ready for the another installment of punishment to be handed out to him.
As he came near, I commanded him in ice cold voice, to stand for five minutes confronting the students. The boy was taken aback by such a milder pronouncement, no rebuke, no chiding! I went on teaching as if nothing unusual had happened. After lapsing of the said time, I went near him. The boy was bracing himself for further harsh words from me.
I simply put a hand on his back and and brought my face to his level and asked him to look into my eyes. The boy raised his eyes to meet mine, a look of uncertainty and apprehension in his eyes. With a soft and warm voice I said, ” I hope this is the last punishment given to you ever. I know you are a good boy, from now on you will behave like one and prove every body wrong. Whenever I come to your class, want to hear good reviews from your peers and teachers alike. Will you promise me that?”
I raised my palm and waited for him to respond. For a moment he looked tentatively at me and then towards the rest of the children, then as if he had made up his mind, raised his hand to meet mine with determination writ large on his face and said, ‘I promise’.
He was so accustomed to getting serially scolded and rebuked by others that he had begun believing himself that he was a bad boy. My gentle assuring words caught him absolutely unawares and it made him putting up the effort to reform his ways.
Friends, it surprised me no end that a few soothing words could have such a lasting effect on an adolescent. He has now stopped teasing and hurting other children and started taking active interest in the proceedings of the class, specially in mine he is more than attentive and will ask questions regarding the subject matter and would actively take part in the discussions. The other children also stopped complaining about him and become more friendly to him.
If he continued to behave as he was doing, maybe after a few years time he might have gone beyond redemption. As the softer clay is easier to mould, the children at a young age are more amenable to reformation, only they require careful and deft handling.
Thanks for reading the post. I wish you all health and happiness.
Adieu for now.
P. c. : My daughter Riya.