A busy Monday morning around 730 hours. I prepared myself a cup of tea and was getting ready to enjoy my few hours of “Solitude”. My usual day starts at 530 hours, getting the kids ready and sending them off to school. I look ahead to this daily “Me” time, sipping tea and planning day’s activities.
My phone rang, the call was from the school teacher. My heart skipped a beat. The primary thought when a call is from the school at odd hours always creates worry. Thank God! It was nothing I feared. The teacher invited me to volunteer for a Storytelling session after 3 days. Now, Teaching does not come effortlessly to me. Though I coach my kids in their studies, it has never been a cakewalk. That is the reason I never opted for an esteemed profession like Teaching. My first urge was to politely refuse, but the Teacher somehow convinced me. Wow!
So that’s how I signed myself for a period of anxiety. Whoa! My planning list for the day was now tossed over. Despite reading to my kids daily, engrossing a class of 30 kindergarten students seemed to be a hard task. Added to this was my fear of being on the stage and facing the young audience. I had always shied away from such endeavors. Several questions popped up inside my head-What, how, what if and et all.
I took a deep breath, Ramdev’s Pranayama always helps. Self-motivation is the biggest key to success. A New skill, exciting challenge and a break from mundane routine may be quite enriching. Hence, after much discussion with myself, I decided to explore uncharted waters with positivity. Over the following three days, I prepared my Work Plan. A Notepad was sought and the Study Table was set. With a little brainstorming, I created the “Project Plan”. Google remained as a Reference tool,lest the Laptop envies the Notepad.
The School’s expectations were listed. :-
- An Original story to be drafted, catering to the age group of 3-4 years. Youtube, bedtime tales or other common stories prohibited. I could visualize the sulking faces of the story Books that I had accumulated over the time.
- Time allotted -half an hour.
- A Lesson Plan to be devised.
- Props to be created -I am not good with the Arts & Crafts, so DIY videos could come handy.
- Method- Any strategy can be used to involve the children willingly (& not because they are directed by the class teacher)
The Thought Process:
- Outline: The theme of the story that I chose – Healthy food versus Junk food. I wrote a fictitious story about a boy named “Golu”. Why the name Golu?-coz children can relate to common names and identify with the characters in the stories they have heard.
- Plot: The story revolved around Golu who was fond of eating Junk food. He constantly refused to eat Healthy food. The mother had to give in to the child’s tantrums. Just so the child does not stay hungry, he ate burgers/ pizza, etc. The child got stomach ache one day and had to be rushed to the doctor. Golu was given medicines and doctor helped him to see how he could have avoided being in pain. Golu then thanked the doctor and his mom.
- Prepare Props– I used Ice-cream Sticks for flagging pictures of food items. Carried along Stickers on number 3 and 4 and Smiley balls.
- Lesson plan(listed below is a brief summary)
|Introduction- Brief about Myself and the purpose||Set Rules-Whoever answer will get a Smiley ball or a sticker on the hand||Build rapport-Ask questions on eating habits, particularly breakfast before coming to school.
|-Show Milk/Fruit/Eggs Prop as per the answers. Share that these are known as Healthy fruit.
-Engage through discussion on Food color.
|Start the story about Golu and his eating habits||Talk about his age, school and mother.||Put children at ease by making them identify with the character||-Ask boys to gather in front of the class. Clap!
-Ask girls about their age , use age Stickers.
|Continue Story-Introduce Healthy food options||Share what Mamma cooked for Lunch||Recognition of Healthy Food, Visual Motor Skills- Visual Perceptions||-Show Props on Dal(Pulses), Rice, Chapati, Salad.
–Hand out few Props to children to hold.
-Ask questions and give relevant stickers and smiley balls.
|Continue story –Introduce Junk food.||Enact the scene on the conversation between mother and child and his stubbornness to eat junk food. Use cellphone for mimicry.||-Build common background
– Self-Realization about the behaviour
|– Show Props on French Fries, Burger, Chips, Pizza
—Hand out few Props to children to hold.
-Ask questions and give relevant stickers and smiley balls.
|Continue Story-Discuss how wrong food makes one sick||Enact the scene on conversation between the child, mother and Doctor||-Visual Perception ,how pain is uncomfortable and healthy eating habits becomes necessary||– Ask students about possible ailment that Golu suffered from-Give Smiley balls
-Probe about healthy food and ask the Prop Leaders to stand in front and show it to the whole class. Clap! Distribute Stickers and balls.
|Closing- Moral of the story.
|-Talk how Golu learns to eat healthy.
-Explain how the child becomes an obedient and polite boy.
|-Introduction to vocabulary- Thank you, Sorry.
-Children learn good manners by promising to Thank Mamma and teacher
|– Remind children on difference between Healthy food and Junk food. Probe and let them share the learnings
– Cheer the children to stand and say a warm Thank you to Mam for the knowledge she shares.
The Dooms Day
On the designated day, I reached school gathering up all my courage and confidence (I felt butterflies in my stomach). After exchanging greetings and setting up my stage for the performance, I started vying for attention from little audiences. I was lucky to have a wonderful audience. With every passing second, the children got engrossed and engaged in the discussions. They became comfortable and excited about the incentives (Smileys balls and Stickers). The Fastest Finger First trend continued to seek my attention for the colorful incentive. Some laughed, others giggled, few started with their own “Mamma” stories. I was named by children as – “Teacher Mamma”. It was mesmerizing to feel the brain wave of the little genius.
Guess what my biggest reward was? Next day at the PTM session, I was intrigued by the attention I got from the children and the parents. A Mother remarked that her daughter shared her newly gained knowledge on reaching home. I was pleasantly surprised that she could pour in the verbatim details to her mother. Moreover, the Teacher, too praised my performance amongst the fellow parents. Nothing could have been better deserving than this!
Thus, I was able to overcome my fear of the Unknown.
If you have ever experienced an anxiety similar to mine, please share in the Comments section. I would love to hear from you and use your learnings as a motivational tool for myself. Cheers!