Ashwini Subodh Pathak
He was absent for the last three or four days and popped up in class, one fine morning. Our class assembly practice was at its peak, so I just casually asked him the reason for his absence, signed his diary and concentrated on supervising the practice. He is an enthusiastic, pleasant and well-mannered child, but a frequent absentee. That’s why I didn’t give him a role in our class assembly. When I was conducting practice, he keenly volunteered. When students needed things, such as props, he promptly helped them. After 2-3 practice sessions, students relied on him for things they needed. I had already arranged for volunteers but they were unwilling to volunteer as it was a backstage role. This boy happily accepted to be a volunteer and promised he would not be absent for the following month. It was a win-win situation for me, so I allowed it. I told him that while performing any task he needed to be invisible, that is, he shouldn’t be seen by anyone. I hesitated while telling him this, because in this world of show-off, with everyone wanting their share in the limelight, I was telling this little boy to be invisible. He readily accepted this and said, “Ma’am, I am participating in our class assembly and that is more important.”
Every day during our practice, I could see him working happily and enthusiastically. Looking at him, I thought that he had really understood the importance of participation. At such a tender age, he taught me how to provide selfless help, how to find happiness in others’ joy, how to do the task at hand with full involvement and devotion.
He came regularly the whole month. Our class assembly was a super hit. When the students were bowing, I took him on stage and made him stand in the front row. Everyone clapped for him.
They knew his importance.
The author is assistant teacher at DSK School, Pune. She teaches chemistry. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.