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Teaching is about hope!

Teaching is a very personal job and is all about hope. My close interaction with teachers from a non-student point of view, over the past few years has brought me to this conclusion. Why, you may ask?

A teacher has to overcome their own personal prejudices to teach a student in the way he/she learns best. It is very easy to spot weaknesses but guiding a child along its areas of strength is one of the most critical and crucial part of teaching.

When a child shows negative behavior, being able to separate the child’s behavior from the child and adopt a positive approach to prevent recurrence of the behavior is not easy.

So, lets celebrate the open ended teachers who opened their hearts and minds so that we could learn. Thank you!!!


Less Ad(d) More News

Recently, as I was flipping through channels, I came across a Kannada channel where there was news highlights going on and on the left hand side there was a large photo of Akshay Kumar taking almost 40% of the space. For a moment I was confused whether the news was about him. When I looked closer, I realized it was an Ad within the news flashlights.

We continue to sink to new lows day in and day out….

Moments of Truth

As I was driving today I saw a father guiding his daughter on a bicycle. It appeared as if he was teaching her. She kept losing his balance but he did not lose his cool.

I found myself back in time, to the time I was learning how to ride. It was the first day, we had gone to the shop to get my new bicycle. I had gone with my dad to the shop. I was under the impression that we will lug it back to our house and learn to ride it safely in the neighborhood (in my own time). But I was in for a surprise!

As we were coming back, my dad asked me to mount the bike and start riding. He wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. So I did as I was told. I had never ridden before, so I was dead scared and kept losing balance. It was a few kilometers to home and the whole way, I remember tears rolling down my eyes as, I was pinched and nudged and scolded as I kept losing balance and kept falling down. It was so many years ago but the pain is still fresh in my mind. It was humiliating for me to keep getting scolded for something that I was unable to do. My whole thought was focused on just managing to avoid more tears from rolling down my cheeks and fighting the humiliation. I was not focusing on the driving or the gentle breeze or the thrill of the first-time-ever ride on my ‘own’ bicycle. It was a moment ‘lost’ forever. Trust me, I didn’t learn to drive that way. In fact, I learnt that I will never learn ‘anything ever’ that way!

I’m sure he felt helpless and probably, his reaction was atypical of what he did when he felt helpless. I’m sure he learnt to drive the moment he hopped on to a bicycle without anyone’s help and he could not understand why someone would be ‘dumb’ enough to keep falling off a ‘mere’ bicycle’.

However, it was a ‘moment of truth’ for me. I internalized a lot of lessons that day and as I saw the father-child today it all suddenly became very clear.

When with loved ones, you always have these moments of truths – ‘when they make mistakes’, ‘when things are not going alright’, ‘when it is time to learn something new’, ‘when someone does not seem to understand what you think they should easily’. At all these times, you always have a ‘choice’. You can choose to get angry and irritated or stay patient and calm and be loving and understanding. For great bonds and lasting friendships are not built on negative emotions but on empathy, love, patience and understanding.

Every time, the little bubble of ‘anger’ or ‘irritation’ bubbles up near your throat at these moments – you can choose to let it go, you can choose to swallow it and be PATIENT and be UNDERSTANDING. Those moments show strength of character, those moments are cherished, those moments show ‘I LOVE YOU’ more than anything else does!

Have you ever had any of these ‘moments of truths’ in your life? Do you seize them and make it worthwhile or let yourself get carried away?

What is inside matters

I was reading Shiv Khera‘s book ‘You can Win‘ recently and I read a story in it that kind of stood out, “A man was selling balloons at a fair. He had all the colors – blue, red, green that one could think of. Once in a while when the sales slowed down, he would send one of the helium filled balloons up in the air and as it flew up all the children wanted one and his sales would go up. A little boy came around, tugged at his shirt and asked him whether the black balloon would fly if he let it go. He calmly explained to the child that, “It is not the color of the balloon but what is inside it that makes it fly”. It is so true about people too.

We, at Sparkling Mindz, make the children realize this and guide them towards thinking and exploring rather than just merely looking at what others are saying or doing. They get a chance to be themselves and even surprise themselves by trusting that they can! It helps improve confidence levels, offers great avenues for self-expression and most importantly, helps them develop as unique individuals that they are. That has been our guiding philosophy from Day 1, that children are unique and different and if we treat them that way they will begin to respect that too.

If you are looking for an exciting place to work, if you are passionate about working with children and looking for a place where you can really make a difference in the lives of children, Sparkling Mindz is expanding and we are looking to hire trainers (learning facilitators) in several areas in Bangalore – Whitefield, Jayanagar, HSR Layout, Kalyan Nagar, Yelahanka, Malleshwaram to name a few. More details at our website – Again, if you think that you are the right person to create out-of-the-box experiences for children and are interested to do so, please email us your resume and we will revert asap!

A new journey – Sparkling Mindz

It’s been a while since I posted out here…life has been hectic, life has been venturesome!

About a year ago, an idea struck me that simply summed up as –  the only thing that can make you stand out in the crowd is how you think, learning to think should be taught at a much younger age than it is taught today and that, it should be fun while you are at it! So, I started Sparkling Mindz along with a group of like-minded individuals, who have been a pillar of support in the growth of this organization.

You may be wondering what Sparkling Mindz is? It is an after school program that provides children an opportunity to grasp thinking skills in a fun way!

It is exciting to see the children’s eyes light up they feel empowered to think, generate ideas and then apply it in their day-to-day lives! They learn to transform into confident, thinking individuals…

You can read more about the programs and about us on our website and view pictures from the workshop at our facebook page. Do help by spreading the word and becoming a fan on our facebook page!

More on the journey soon….but do write in with your thoughts and comments. Most importantly, help us reach out as far and wide as possible by spreading the word around to those who can benefit and help us make an impact on millions of lives.

Mega Mart Shopping Bag!

I was typing something furiously away at my computer and looked away for a second when my eyes fell on this Mega Mart shopping bag. It read “Women, Men, Kids, Youth, Accessories, Footwear, Luggage, Home”. All in the same breath. All in the same color. All in the same font! I can’t stop smiling…coz a thought had struck…

What if…? Could we…? Someday…? go to a mart to buy – Women, Men, Kids, Youth and a Home – made to order? Really? Is it possible? Is it far away? Is it close enough? Are we headed that way?

What do you think?

Uncomplicating Things

It is interesting how we end up complicating things way beyond necessary sometimes. Today I heard a comment, “You need a process around your process!” As if having one process was not good enough, you add a couple of layers on top of it so that neither you nor anyone looking at it later can understand what it was meant to do at the first place.

Let’s try and keep things simple. Uncomplicate. We need to scale but do we need to embrace complexity for the sake of it?

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