I wish my teacher knew…

Nidhi Qazi

This piece of writing has its inspiration in an article in the New York Times which the editorial team of Teacher Plus asked me to try out. Having gone through the article, I found all the right reasons to say yes and go ahead with doing this piece. So, dear readers, I present here a small window into the children’s world wherein they pour their hearts out to tell all of us – What I wish my teacher knew.

nidhi The making of this article was a new experience, unlike earlier, when I would facilitate certain activities with children, document their responses and share it through articles. This time, I was dealing with five government school teachers and convincing them to try out a writing exercise in their respective classes. They did get convinced and tried out the same.

Having gone through the writings, some children have expressed their need to feel acknowledged and appreciated by the teachers. Some have vented their anger on being reprimanded for no fault of theirs. Some writings are poignant for they reflect the socio-economic challenges children face daily and how these affect their learning and studying despite their willingness to score well and do well in life. Some pieces show the pain of settling in an urban space after having left their rural life behind. There are some writings which are long and reflect the children’s desire to express and share a lot while in other cases, it just takes a few lines to tell the entire story of a child’s circumstances and hardships.

When I asked my class to write on the topic – I wish my teacher knew – most of the children were sceptical and refused to write. Some of them asked if these writings would be sent to the principal and would they be reprimanded later? I assured them that these writings would stay with me and they will not have to face anything,” said Seema, who conducted this activity in Class 7.

The author is a Consultant with Language and Learning Foundation (LLF) and believes in the magic children create and the immense possibilities a teacher can create in making this magic happen. She can be reached at qazi.nidhi@gmail.com.

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