Learners' Collective Newsletter Issue 31; Yr 20-21
Lets begin with important Notifications
- Holiday on Monday (Holi)
- Review and goal setting meetings, on 1st and 2nd April, as per put in WA group.
- New year begins from April 1st
- Fees of the coming year will be informed in the review meeting. First installment to be paid in the month of April.
- Let's Samazte Hain on 10th April, 10 am
- Vacation from 17th April to 31st May
Here goes another exciting week.
We had five new children for the trial period this week, and need I say more, they loved the place and enjoyed the freedom? The smallest one was four years old, but she was extremely self-dependent and self directed. Another little one had a lot of stranger and space anxiety when we had met her a couple of years ago. We were surprised to see her version 2.0 being so forthcoming, vocal. She was also quick to remind the rules to everyone in LC.
We experienced usual turmoil, as the new children joined in, usual groupism, and fights. I think we are better prepared to accept that change.
We began the week with circle time, in view of new participants, each one introduced with one favourite thing of theirs’ and one rule of LC which will help the newcomers to understand how LC works. The major hindrance to circle time was, new jungle gym. It was difficult to keep the kids away even for 5 minutes.
Kabir had planned the activity of tyre painting. We laid down tyres on the bamboo, with newspapers covering the floor, and white base was applied. By the end of the day, all the kids had white paint all over their body, not excluding hair. This was followed on Wednesday, when some tried hands on the colouring, while some did spray painting. All and all everyone enjoyed. Only twist was, this time, Kabir made one of the participants take notes, explaining them, the next time, the work can go on even in his absence.
Drama Practice is happening in full swing, kids are revising dialogues, giving instructions to others, improvising. The play zone is especially being booked for drama practice.We can expect some show in coming Lets Samazte Hain on April 10th.
This week we did algebra, mini maths, hindi, chemistry, talking club, IPM preparations, Grammar, Gymnastics. Chemistry experiment failed miserably because it was not tried prior to presentation, but the following discussion on pH was quite engaging. Talking club, this time had many participants and a larger audience. We all talked for a minute over the topic which came in the chit. People expressed, ‘ when I am angry, favourite food, bathroom, Tekdi Garden, friday food, my favourite person, friend, minekraft, cricket, favourite book, pizza. Children were honest, fair and critical while expressing their own emotions, experiences. The epic thing was how everyone fell to silence and paid utmost attention when someone started speaking about Minekraft.
As the playzone was completely occupied for the tyre painting, children had no space left for cricket. So they occupied the quiet zone. Inadvertently, the bat hit the library cupboard and a glass crashed. Everyone gathered immediately, and due care was taken. Thankfully, no one got hurt.
This time, everyone was either busy with jungle gym or in arts and crafts activity. So half of them decided to bunk the judiciary, the rest half requested that they finish their arts work in parallel with the meeting. The topic on agenda was that the drama troop wanted to practice in the play zone, as it's the final display venue and there is need of use of props now, that the practice is in an advanced stage. But it is always occupied. So the request was made that they can book the space. Since the sports team opted out of this meeting, there was hardly any resistance put, and the request was granted. Afterwards, some regrets were heard from the sports team, but they will have to wait to put their point across till coming Tuesday! Last week a genuine feeling of unhappiness about consequences was expressed by one of the children. It was to an extent that the child felt like not coming to LC intermittently. This time too, two children were caught with maximum complaints, and the judiciary decided that they would spend three days in the quiet zone. While we understand the feeling of fear, avoidance, reluctance about consequences, there is no alternative method to address the complaints. As the complaints are genuine, we can not ignore. The democratic practice guides for judiciary and consequences. But the deeper reflection is also required behind the needs which are expressed through unacceptable behaviour. Lets see if we can have some workshops for better understanding of one’s needs and behaviour.
Meeting for setting rules of battle:
It is observed that children indulge into battle games with some vengeance. It percolates and lingers over days to weeks to months. The discussion happened over what should be the rules. Any physical fight can not happen without calling another person for battle. No hitting above neck and on private parts. Maximum time can be 30 minutes, which includes ball fighting also. The important aspect is we can not keep the feelings lingering beyond that day. Its not allowed to take revenge the next day. I understand it's very easy to think and write and agree, but extremely difficult to bring it into practice.
Guests at LC:
This week another new parent and child had come to visit LC, and he will join the trial period from the first week of April. Another enthusiastic person from Thane dreaming of starting such a center had also come to meet. So also a cousine brother of one of the children spent some time with us.
My anxieties as facilitator:
This week we had some new children coming for trial period. Unfortunately, my partner was on leave. I felt some real performance pressure, in the view of how new parents are going to judge me as the facilitator and conductor of the show. Some needs were expressed by the child coming since last week, and I was contemplating how those could be met. I was missing her so much. But, I am really grateful to one of the parent volunteers for sharing the burden and also other volunteers to support. But all in all, it gave me a clear insight about the warmth, support and bonding which I share with my Partner.
Food for thought
What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings, but not the cause.
We see that our feelings result from how we choose to receive what others say and do, as well as from our particular needs and expectations in that moment.
When we express our needs indirectly through the use of evaluations, interpretations, and images, others are likely to hear criticism. And when
people hear anything that sounds like criticism, they tend to invest their energy in self-defense or counterattack. If we wish for a compassionate
response from others, it is self-defeating to express our needs by interpreting or diagnosing their behavior. Instead, the more directly we
can connect our feelings to our own needs, the easier it is for others to respond to us compassionately
This is what Marshall Rosenberg has mentioned in his book ‘Non-violent Communication’
Tell us what you feel about it, and join us for the book discussion from 1st April, Alternate Thursday, 7:30 pm