“If children don’t learn the way you teach, then you teach them the way they learn ” is a statement I swear by, especially after being a teacher to special children for over 50 years now. You see, every child is capable. It’s only about giving them a chance to be a teacher and flow as per their way of understanding.
At Least that’s the secret behind running my school for special children ‘Swabodhini’ successfully since the 80s, though I wasn’t initially thrilled about teaching them. In fact, my encounter with them was completely by chance, when I was desperately looking to pursue working opportunities as a young housewife and mother.
Nevertheless, it was time that I played cupid, making me realize the impact I had on these kids. From not being interested in dealing with a bunch of special children, I slowly developed an obsession to transform them towards betterment, that even after I resigned I had around 25 kids in my premises, who came in to learn. Their parents too were convinced by my methodologies, eventually aiding in making this my life’s goal.
What worked is the approach to make these kids independent and get them as much as possible into the ‘normal’ scheme of things. The question that loomed behind the thought process was “how would these children even sustain, post their parents’ time” and it majorly drove me to introduce all types of training at my school- speech, behavioural to even vocational. And my quest to aid them towards an independent life, I’ve seen some miraculous victories till date. First is where a few of our students are employed in the corporate space. They work on the shop, floor and lower management side of things and in some cases are the sole breadwinners for their families.
We have others, who now go to college alongside regular peers and a sheer gliimpse into their journey thus far is enough to move me to tears. These children were at the verge of abandonment when they were brought to me and today seeing them fly by themselves and fend for their families is the best reward I could ask for a teacher.
Of course, all of this wouldn’t have been possible if not for like-minded teachers, who envisioned my dream alongside! I’m nearing my 70s but the fire to create a better world for these children of god is still alive and thriving. I still want to impact many more kids in my lifetime and will ensure that this beautiful system lives on beyond my time.”