Teach For India Diaries 4#

I recently read a beautiful quote by Sigmund Freud. “All that matters is love and work.”
It stuck in my mind and i often think that lucky are those who find both; because in the end that is all that matters. We all strive to find and strike a balance between both in life. At some stages you feel you have love but you feel you could be doing work that “you” love. And during other times you feel that you “love” the work you are doing but where has the love gone! 

It was quite frustrating to think of a way to make my kids want and choose something that they would like to do if not in life but atleast for the next one month. Then a fabulous peer shared about what he had done with his classroom. It was the best idea i had heard in days! 
We all grew up having a monitor in our class. Some one who would be the teacher’s eyes when she was away. The monitor would write the names down on the board for her to see who all had been up to mischief. But this felt so wrong suddenly. Instead of centralizing the power it felt so much better decentralizing it to every individual in the class so they felt equally responsible about their class functioning flawlessly.
We made “Managers” instead of “Monitors”. And we didn’t have only one manager like in a hierarchical organization, we had 31! Yes, each kid could be a manager. There were job openings created; along with the number of vacancies; all posted on the black board, they filled out a job application with their name, the post they wanted to apply to and why they feel they would be good at the job. This gave them the power to pick and choose what they wanted.
It suddenly became a matter of managing themselves and their class instead of being “monitored” by someone.The job openings ranged from “blackboard managers” to “bags and shoes to be in a line outside the class” to “Class cleanliness” managers. Their reasons to want something ranged from some thing as simple as ” I want to be the Bags and shoes manager because i like arranging .” to as well thought of as ” I want to be the library manger because i want to learn more and more words because i think that is important.”
We had a manager appointment ceremony where each manager would be given an appointment letter and a badge with their role on it. They also had an oath taking ceremony where they announced that they would fulfill their duty with discipline and hard work 🙂  Every morning i find everything in place and in order solely managed by the kids for us to cut down on the frills and get down to our primary business, ie to learn 🙂
I have never been a manager in my 24 years, not officially at least. But these 7 year olds know what it is to be a manager and are managers of their class and most importantly of themselves! Who knew a couple of laminated badges and a little faith could work such magic 🙂

Which brings me back to where i started off. I know that making choices about the work they want to do on a daily basis in the class and knowing why they made those choices
will enable them to make the right choices about their work later in life. As for love, i know i love them to bits 🙂
Leaving you with some images of the appointment ceremony and wishing that you get both the perfect love and work, because that is all that matters in the end 🙂

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