We were waiting for our food to be served in a restaurant when I noticed a toddler refusing to eat her food in our neighbouring table. Her parents addressed the issue immediately by handing over a mobile phone to her. The rest of the meal was taken care with the child happily watching the videos.
This is the scenario in many households today. Dora, the explorer and Doremon are the companions of our children on the dining tables. This habit formed at a young age continues through teenage and later, in our busy lives, we tend to multitask while we have our food. Various studies show that we need to be mindful while eating our food. Why is this so? What are we doing to our children?
Really? Is it true? Yes, dear friends ... it is a truth indeed!
Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
Tell me, how many of us have the secret desire to travel the whole world and see how big this world is? Yes, you are right. Most of us. Then start reading a book and see how it enlarges your world. You are never alone when you're reading a book. Have you ever felt it when you are reading your favorite book? When you are relaxing… sinking down in the sofa... slowly… just like a movie fade out... that your real world is evaporating and you are alone inside the world of the story of your book... living the life of the story? Isn't that our most favorite feeling?
“Happiness is always a choice. I have to create my own good fortune. So look for the ways to be happy always”.
This is the quote I have written on the front page of my diary. When I wrote this, I wrote it to myself…. in my mind. What is the main aim in everyone’s life? What everyone wants? What everyone seeks for? What everyone longs for? What everyone have in themselves? What is the ultimate cause and effect of all our deeds?
H A P P I N E S S ……
“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” – CS Lewis
As the 21st century children seem to be smarter than ever, the importance of a value-based education has become a necessity like never-before. Technology has crept into Education and has opened infinite windows to information. The young minds are now exposed to the ocean of thoughts and ideas, without boundaries. In the light of this exposure, educating children on their values have become the need of the hour.
We are beyond the power of changing the way we look but we can change the way we think and feel. Health and Happiness can be worked together, it is not easy because health and Happiness are the sides of the same coin and one cannot work without the other. When things are good we are happy and when things are not like we want we are unhappy, health can make us feel good and at times make us feel miserable when we don't have a good health .
Everyone wants to be healthy but sometimes our habits and sometimes when we refuse to let go the things that make us sad can make us very unhealthy. It gatherers and bounces back as a result of being unhappy and unhealthy.
Happiness is the Highest form of Health.
As days are changing people are getting busier day by day. A good home, a good career, good marks, good looks, to sum it up a “Good Life” is all that we need to be happy. Constantly we are struggling to find the best for ourselves and using it as a measure for Happiness. Parents are happy when a child get good marks but not with the effort a child takes to prepare for the exams. Getting admission to good schools/colleges gives us happiness but not the fact that how much our child is able to learn within those fancy buildings and luxurious rules. A high end mobile handset brings us more happiness than the phone calls made to our loved ones.
Are we really happy with these materialistic objects or are these objects used to camouflage our insecurities, our shortcomings, our dreams which we were not able to fulfil? Are these all we need to be happy.
As per the dictionary the meaning of Happiness is: joy, pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, gladness. If we take a moment to ponder and observe these words, then these are feelings which relates to our inner self. It’s a state of our mind which tells me that this is what you need and not what you want. Needs can be fulfilled but wants are endless. Happiness is nothing but acceptance of fulfillment, to look inside ourselves and say I am trying my best. The moment we stop comparing ourselves to others, using them as a yardstick to measure our lives, we become contend with what we have, in other words we are Happy. “I “should be a measure for myself.
No one is incharge of my happiness except me. It’s a feeling that comes from within. A voice which praises me for the endless hardships I faced to overcome my difficulties. Acknowledging that as a human I have my shortcoming and accepting that I am not perfect. It’s an encouragement that tells us to dream and let your dreams be your inspiration but don’t let your dreams be materialistic which can be concluded in two words “achieved” or “not achieved”. Dreams can never be achieved, it can be fulfilled and the sense of fulfillment brings happiness.
When we are at peace with ourselves that is the time we are happy, and this happiness is very infectious because this is positive happiness which has come from within ourselves and like the sweet fragrance of a flower it spreads across the garden of life.
- Mrs. Sakhi Ghosh Dastidar
Parent of Ayanika Ghosh Dastidar (Sr. KG)
MLZS, HSR Branch
First, let us look at the importance of conservation of nature and wildlife with the help of some numbers. Consider the following gloomy statistics:
- According to the World Resources Institute, 100 species die each day due to tropical deforestation.
- A recent study shows that global warming could drive up to one half of all plants and animals species on dry land to extinction by the year 2050.
- Around 30 countries today face chronic freshwater shortages. That number is expected to hit 50 by 2020.
How can we arrest this downward slide into an abyss? Now for some good news: Children, as one notices, are able to communicate with animals in a language grown-ups cannot comprehend. They are also a lot more sensitive to issues concerning the environment. Therein lies the hope for our planet, which is under tremendous stress brought on by unbridled human activity.
Children are our last hope for the continued good health of the earth and all its inhabitants. In fact, it is the grown-ups that need to be constantly reminded of their duty and commitment to the preservation of our environment. Littering, unscientific disposal of garbage, polluting of water bodies, and deforestation are some of the biggest threats endangering our existence.
Conservation: Impress upon children about the need to maintain the balance in nature between man and animals. Animal products like skin, fur and ivory products should never be bought as ’when buying stops, killing stops too.’
Outdoor lifestyle: When children develop a love for the outdoors they begin to see nature with a fresh perspective which is ultimately beneficial. For instance, taking up swimming can make them aware about the pollution of our water bodies.
Community efforts: As a community, we can achieve great results with cleanliness and awareness drives as has been demonstrated by scores of school children all over the country.
Catching them young: Humans are creatures of habit and it is easier to mould young and impressionable minds. Teachers and parents have an important role to play in guiding students to become environmentally aware and responsible citizens of tomorrow.
Finally, all of us are equal stakeholders in the good health of our planet and we must act collectively, with children taking the initiative being the more energetic taking the lead. Adults’ role is to encourage them to spread awareness by providing them with logistical and moral support.
MLZS is passionate about conservation of environment and we appeal to everyone to play your part in this noble mission.
Meet Ms. Shanmugapriya, Primary Teacher from Samsidh Mount Litera Zee School, HSR Branch. She has been working with us for the past 5 years.
1. Why did you choose teaching as a career?
Ans: Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world - Malala Yousafzai
All my teachers right from primary school to higher education were stand alone models and they have influenced me to become a teacher.I feel that it’s a great opportunity to work with young people and make a difference in their lives. Whenever my students meet me somewhere ,they rush to me to wish me and talk to me. I feel this is the only profession where we are remembered by everyone irrespective of one’s position and status. This is one of the professions,which gives us the job satisfaction. I feel a sense of achievement whenever my students score high not only in the examination but also in the examination of life when they do well in their professional and personal lives.
2.Why/How did you come across/join MLZS?
Ans: A friend of mine was working as a special educator in Samsidh MLZS then. She informed me of a vacancy for Math teacher’s post. So I attended the interview and got an opportunity to work in this esteemed institution.
3.What do you like about MLZs?
Ans: I like the vision of our school of “creating 21st Century leaders” and feel proud to be a part of this awesome process. We are working for a better future. At Samsidh MLZS the work atmosphere is really good. Right from the Management, everyone is very down to earth and work oriented. All work towards achieving the common goal of creating the 21st Century leaders. we are allowed to share our feelings ,difficulties etc with the Management very freely and are guided and encouraged by them in an amiable manner .
4.What are the changes that you have brought into a child?
Ans: I made my students free of fear from tests and the importance of having a good mental ability in their day to day life .In my class I make sure that all are equal irrespective of their academic knowledge and their family status. My students follow the same and there is no divide what so ever.
5.Why is MLZS better than the other schools?
Ans: Samsidh MLZS is an Institution which strives purely for the welfare of the children. Here we see what is right for the child and all our work revolves around it .I feel in that way Samsidh MLZS plays a wonderful role as an ethical and humane Educational Institution.
6.What are the achievements in your teaching career?
Ans: Even though I work as teacher, I feel I continue to be a good and eager learner. I gain a cornucopia of knowledge from my students, colleagues and my higher authorities every day which empowers me further. I would like to share an incident .When I was the class teacher of grade 2, I had an autistic child in my class. At the end of the academic year,I asked the students to write a letter /drawing to their favourite teacher. That child drew a picture of lady with the words, “ I love Priya ma’am. I love my math teacher” and he gave A+ grade and a few stars tome.I was really moved and overwhelmed by the touching gesture of the child through his drawing.
7.How long do you wish to work for this school?
Ans: I would like to work till my retirement age, maybe even later if I have physical strength. I believe that this is my destiny and I can’t even think about working in any other place as I am totally attached to this atmosphere.
8.What do you think is the role of a teacher in MLZS?
Ans: A teacher's role in MLZS involves more than simply standing in front of a classroom and lecturing.Here the teacher understands that teaching involves wearing multiple hats to ensure that the school day runs smoothly and all students receive a quality education.
9.If you need to describe MLZS in one word, what would it be?
10. Out of the six values of the School, which value is the closest to your heart?
Ans: Open mindedness. Open-mindedness helps us to learn and grow, to strengthen our belief in ourselves.
There was a time--not very long ago--when most parents in India wanted their children to pursue either of the two professions: engineering or medicine.
Consider some of the impressions prevailing about other professions at the time: teaching was a noble profession, but paid poorly; banking was a steady job, but required extensive travel; business was an attractive option, but was too risky. And so on…
The children themselves may not have been keen on the two professions but were wary of offending their parents. In addition, they had to deal with peer pressure, family pressure and family pride. If you were ‘good’ at studies, you became an engineer or a doctor, period.
Eventually, most of those who followed their parents’ advice were happy with the career choices their families made on their behalf--but there were also a good many who were not.
The latter set of people continued to pursue the profession sans the requisite passion. Some of them gathered enough courage to make a switch to the vocation they were passionate about, and a few of them still hope to pursue their passion, in spite of doing well in their current profession.
To be fair to the parents--who always want the best for their children--back in the day, the opportunities were rather limited. It was the advent of computers that spawned a whole range of new opportunities. And suddenly, one found, one was spoilt for choices, and selecting the right profession suddenly became tougher than ever before.
Can passion alone decide what career option your child is going to pursue? How important is it to identify your kid’s passion and how can you help them nurture it as best as you can?
As parents, we need to:
- Be free of prejudice: Be prepared to accept what your child has decided to do. All professions are equally important and fulfill a certain role in society.
- Trust the gut feeling: Parents know about their children best. Has your child shown an artistic temperament, a head for numbers, or a flair for the languages?
- Respect child’s judgement: Don’t be alarmed by or be sceptical about the choice your child makes. Your only worry should be to provide support to nurture that passion.
- Support the passion: Being passionate about what they do brings out the best in children and being able to do it with full parental support is like the icing on the cake.
- Accept setbacks: Don’t let the fear of failure deter you or your child from pursuing the passion. Early setbacks are common, even desirable, for eventual success.
Finally, take time off to identify what interests your child as it may not become apparent straightaway. It may even change several times in the initial stages as your child weighs her options. Be patient, and discuss the topic often, but stand by your child’s decision.
Passion kindles imagination, which in turn unleashes the creativity in your child. As Albert Einstein said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
Dealing with children is possibly one of the toughest jobs in the world as any parent or teacher would testify. Perhaps, a teacher’s job is even tougher considering they have to keep many of them under check at any given time.
Most children love to bend a rule a little bit if they are reasonably sure they can get away with it. After all, kids will be kids and a little bit of mischief is even expected of them.
The right diet and hygiene are vital to a child’s all round development. Therefore, the task of ensuring the right standards of hygiene and nutrition in children’s diet poses a big challenge to parents and teachers at home and school respectively.
This calls for encouraging children to follow a set of guidelines at home and school. We will first look at the hygiene part and look at the points related to nutrition a little later.
- Hand hygiene: Encourage children to always keep their fingernails trimmed and wash their hands thoroughly before eating food.
- Refrigerated food: Encourage children to always eat freshly prepared food and avoid refrigerated food as it may develop harmful mold or fungi if there is a power failure.
- Clean water: Encourage kids to always drink clean water and from known sources. This protects them from the risk of contracting waterborne diseases like Cholera.
A balanced diet is essential for physical and development of your child. Encourage your children to avoid eating the following food items:
- Junk Food: Provides zero nutritional value, and also contains excess salt.
- Aerated Drinks: Colas and sodas contain excess sugar.
- Chocolates & icecreams: Result in bad teeth and excess body weight. (Moderate consumption is fine)
So how can we ensure our children get a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs and the prescribed hygiene standards?
Sticking to home-cooked food with plenty of fruits and green vegetables and prepared as per the hygiene practices discussed above ensures your child is healthy and active at all times. In addition, the following guidelines should be followed by adults:
- Food handling: Food handlers at home and in school should use spoons, ladles and protective gloves.
- Pesticide-free food items: Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water before use to make them free of pesticides.
- Single-use of cooking oil: Discard cooking oil after a single use as recycled oil may develop cancer-causing free radicals.
Children are aware about these issues and are easily convinced once it is explained to them. Our motto should be: Eat healthy and live healthy.