Newsletter Issue 26: Yr 20-21
19 Feb 2021
Time is just flying by and it's already the end of this week. The key highlights of this week’s happenings are as follows:
Jugnu Theatre Group
I missed out on sharing about this wonderful group who visited us last friday. The videos of their activities have already been shared on our WA group. This is a group that was started by a few theatre enthusiasts which include a few 40 yr olds and a bunch of 10-13 year olds. They call themselves a performing arts theatre group where the script is not pre decided or prepared. We did various activities with them, first was a circle time and ha-clap, second was the “वहा चली हवा”। The main performance was a final performance on the idea of freedom. This entire act is impromptu and the performers actually ask the audience for clues and feedback. Their performance revolved around the feelings and perceptions of the audience. They went around asking one person at a time and understood their feelings and assimilated those exact feelings in their act. Our jaws dropped when we saw our feelings being told in an act and how clearly it was articulated. It is so difficult to even talk clearly about what is in our minds let alone understanding and performing someone else’s feelings in front of the audience.
टिकाउ Mop Competition
This got postponed since the KKS team couldn’t make it this week. So wait till next week for some mopping.
We conducted a circle time with an idea to better understand how to conduct a circle time. Yes that’s right. Barring a few kids, all of them are not necessarily involved in the discussion. Either they are rolling on the floor or talking to their friends or busy fiddling with stuff. Few of them start asking, “When will this end?”, “When can I go and play?”, “This is so boring” etc. This can mean two things. One, they are not interested in this particular topic of discussion or they simply want to conform to the facilitators since they called for the meeting. They even mentioned that they find it like a traditional school. Either of these things are not good signs for democracy. So we are thinking we will keep these meetings completely voluntary and try for some months.
Right after the circle time, some kids gathered for their drama practice. They are very skillfully trying to implement things they learnt from the Jugnu Theatre group. After their practice, we were completely shocked to see them seated in a circle and discussing script and changes that were required. A perfect circle touching each other's knees. And it was only 10 minutes ago that we had an utter fiasco circle time about conducting circle times. There could only be one explanation to this and it's when there is a need they will comply and do whatever it takes. The challenge is how to make them realise things that they are not directly affected with. Guess it will take time, patience is the key.
Vinayak Sir decided to get some commando training done this friday. The drill goes like this: First take a few Langdi jumps then high jumps over the hurdles then go through the tunnel which is sliding yourself under the chairs. Then comes pushing a tyre with loaded with 10 kgs of weight to the other end of the room then to zig zag running while also touching the cones. Later to break the monotony some variations were included like head rolling and jump rolling over the tyres. Then he followed it up with a game. This friday we had parent volunteers who joined the session and displayed some of their gymnastics prowess.
Next sunday on the 28th we have an Open House for interested parents and kids. You all are welcome and it will be great to share your stories with parents and discuss your journeys with them. We were thinking of not getting our kids along, since this will help us completely focus on the visitors. Please share the flyer of the open house to your friends and family.
We are reading “Unconditional Parenting” by Alfie Kohn for our book club session. Alfie explains that there is no readymade recipe and what works for someone not necessarily will work for others. He gives 13 pointers to be mindful about yourself and your children. Here they are:
- Be reflective. Its ok to make mistakes and don’t kill yourself if you do it. Just reflect as why you did what you did. This will make you aware.
- Reconsider your requests. Sometimes requests almost feels like commands. Tread this narrow path and reconsider it.
- Keep your eye on your long-term goals. When you stop your child from doing something, just make sure if its aligning with your long term goal.
- Put the relationship first. Being right isn’t necessarily what matters. It is ok to not demand the right thing. Prioritise the relationship first.
- Change how you see, not just how you act. See things differently. Every problem is an opportunity to solve
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Need I say more.
- Be authentic. Just be yourself. Your flaws are not going to make you look bad but genuine and humane.
- Talk less, ask more.
- Keep their ages in mind.
- Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts. We usually think that inappropriate action by a child was motivated by the child’s sinister desire to cause trouble or to see how much she/he can get away with—or if we attribute such behaviors to his being a natural troublemaker—they may become exactly what we fear. Try to understand and give them the benefit of doubt.
- Don’t stick your no’s in unnecessarily. This is something which is the most difficult to practice. Being positive and letting them explore is the only way.
- Don’t be rigid. Explain your stand and why you need what you need.
- Don’t be in a hurry. We become rigid when we are trying to meet the schedules. But its important to analyse why is there a need for such a hard schedule?
The book is long and needs a separate discussion forum.
Finally, we are coming to the end of this semester and this academic year. As always we will have our get together and then break for this year. For your reference here are the dates:
- 1st & 2nd April - Goal Setting (pls put your preference for dates)
- 10 April - Let’s समझते है
- 17th April to 1st June Summer Break
Sorry for this lengthy newsletter.
Until next time….