Wednesday, July 30, 2008

an 'n' that looks like an 'n'

A couple of days back, my older one drew a tiger on silts, and after finishing the picture asked me to spell out the word Tiger. Watching him cheerfully label the picture, sign it and date it, I couldn’t help wondering if it was the same kid who three months back could barely recognize the letters of the alphabet.

Two months of hard work during the summer vacation had brought him to speed, but the improvement in his letter-formation after re-joining school had been remarkable. He had learnt more at school in first two weeks in Sr. K.G. than he had during the entire Jr. K.G. year! Not just that, his entire attitude towards studies had undergone a total metamorphosis – he actually looked forward to doing his homework and often finished it even when I was not even in the room.

It had to be his new teacher who was the cause of this miracle, but with a class of 25, how could she possibly find time to work on one child?

When I met her at the Parent-Teacher Meeting, I had the answer. She is the first person I have met who was completely focused on the strengths of the child. Listening to her, I could be forgiven for thinking that my child was a versatile genius – perfect in everything he was asked to undertake. It could not possibly be true, but she was not lying either.

When she said, “Your son communicates so much through his facial expressions. He doesn’t need to say ‘good morning’ – his smile says it”, what she actually meant was, “Your son really should be less diffident and should speak up more.” And she had a solution ready – don’t ASK him to say ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’, say it yourself, so he understands that it is something that should be done.

With that kind of attitude, my son’s teacher could not but succeed.

So when I catch my son humming his favourite song while writing his numbers, almost all of me is bursting with pride and joy. But, there is one dispassionate part of me that is making up its mind to try and focus only on the positives from now on.

The only thing his teacher now wants to accomplish is to get my son to write the small letter ‘n’ the way it should be written, but I’d love it to remain as it is. That pony-tail on top of the ‘n’ somehow reminds me of an innocence I want to preserve forever.
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