Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A new lesson everyday

After the final exams the kids had a fortnight off before they started school again. I usually view holidays with trepidation but this time was secretly rubbing my hands in glee because I enrolled them for the annual VBS[Vacation Bible School] at Church. Which meant that they would be out of my hair for 3-4 hours everyday for 7 days.

What is it they say about best-laid plans of mice and men……

It all started when I was standing & talking with my friend in church. A mature member of the church interrupts our very important conversation.

Yes important. We were talking about world peace.

Seriously we were.

Anyways you can’t prove we were not.

Now the nice-looking aunty requests my friend to step in as a VBS teacher since they were facing a shortage. As soon as I heard the topic of conversation my gut instincts screamed at me to "get out of there Nancy....just get the heck out of there before...". My friend like I expected cried off because she was a working woman & the timings clashed. I in the meantime was trying to merge into the solid church wall behind me.

Why????

Because these two were blocking the exit.

When the heavy and suggestive silence became too much I peeked to see 2 pairs of eyes staring expectantly for an answer to a question I'm prepared to swear I didn’t hear. That was it. Before I knew it I was signed up as Junior teacher for the VBS.

I was not pleased. All that free time I dreamed of putting into good use evaporated into thin air ;-(. Teaching kids was the last thing I wanted to do in my ‘free’ time. If I wanted to do that I would have joined as teacher in some school long back and earned big moneys.

I spent the rest of the day kicking myself for not saying NO plain and straight out.

What is the big deal you ask????

"Very big deal" I defend myself.

To begin with I don’t like kids.

Nope, not even my own.

I love them, my kids I mean but ‘like’….I'm still not so sure.

It was always like that. Even during my teenage years I used to keep away from them. Anyways it was mutual, they didn’t like me too…the kids I mean. If any of them even accidently looked at me I’d contort my face into a grotesque mask and scare the freaking daylights out of them. Their mothers would frantically scan the vicinity to see what rendered their sunny kid into a blubbering mess.

I still do that[once in a while though] to reassure myself I haven’t lost my touch.

Coming back to my original problem, I finally came to the conclusion that there was nothing I could do but grin and bear it. And it was just for a week anyway.

The only silver lining……my kids were so thrilled about it.  So excited that it was ridiculous. Naina was building castles in the air. Like she was pretending that she was already in my class and I had made her the monitor of the class.

Huh….

“Naina, it doesn’t work that way, when they find out we belong to one family they’ll put you in another class.” said I, trying to let her down gently.

“But Mama they won’t find out because we have different surnames[well she has her father’s name and I have mine]” said Naina looking at me very hopefully.

On the first day of the VBS Naina’s dreams crashed. Not only was she not in my class she was not even in my section ie. Juniors. She was grouped under Primary. She was inconsolable. I pacified her in the limited time I had[I too had to reach my class right] & waved her off with another kid in relief. And Nikita was in the Intermediate Group.

Thank goodness both my kids were not anywhere in the nearest vicinity. I don’t think I could have concentrated on my work with these two trying to catch my eye every 2 minutes. As it is I was so jittery about taking classes after a long time.

I reluctantly make my way to the Juniors group leader who assigned me Section 13.

No. 13

Wonderful, now all I needed was a black cat to cross my path.

I found a tiny group of 4 patiently waiting for me when I reached my section.

Eh, just four kids???

I mugged up all that stuff in Lesson 1 to teach 4 kids???

Introduced myself and asked them their names. Made small talk. I taught the 1st lesson really well; with lots of cunning examples and touching stories. Infact I drilled it into their heads so well that I doubt they are going to forget it anywhere in the near future. The lesson for the day was ‘Obey your parents’. Vested interests u see. I was also hoping that somewhere on the other side my kids were also taught the same by like-minded individuals.


As the evening progessed I realised I didn't have to do much. If I asked 1 question the 4 kids together had 40 things to tell me. So it was ok. And they were sweet kids. Seriously they really were. I mean they were irritating and all that but since I already had experience handling my two I was ok. Let's not forget that I was also on my best behaviour.

I cautiously declared day 1 a success.

But ofcourse all the way home Naina was acting like I gave her up for adoption or something. Huge accusing eyes followed me around for the next 24 hours. Luckily for me her teacher was a teenager who turned out to be a fun person to hang out with so she magnanimously decided to forgive me after 2 days. Drama Queen I tell u.

The next day's lesson was about Forgiveness. There were 8 students[a bunch of 8-10yr olds] in my class that day. One kid was in my class by mistake. I decided to forgive him. 8 was a decent number and I needed him to make me look good.

The next day was about Sharing; I got all of them to bring a coloured imprint of their hand on chart paper which I stapled around a decorated paper-plate[denotes sharing, get it??]. After lessons & games we all shared the donuts, samosas and mini pizzas we brought from home.

Then Humility, Faithfulness....and so on it went. All too soon it was the 7th & the final day.  There were no classes on the final day; every class put up a play or a song or whatever they could usually with a message. Juniors group was large….there were atleast 150 kids if not more. And we were given just 20 minutes to perform whatever we wanted on stage.

We decided to go with a Malayalam song and a small play enacting it. The song was about a small injured sparrow seeking shelter from the rain. The banyan tree, the mango tree and the palm tree refused to give shelter. Finally the banana tree welcomes her into his shade. Then there is a storm and all the bad trees are destroyed but the humble banana tree survives. Good wins over bad kind of story.

Considering the fact that we started practicing only the 6th day and ALL the 150 kids took part I thought we did a decent job. We managed to fit in around 50 kids on the stage…….around 5 kids held main parts, the rest were all trees, shrubs and flowers. The remaining 100 kids stood just below the stage and sang the song. What do I say??? It played out awesome. We felt a bit like frauds accepting all the compliments which were pouring in;-D

It was time to say good-bye. All my kids were really very sad that it was ending. Making me wonder if they lead boring lives or what. And I felt guilty that I was glad it was ending. I mean I was sad too but it was too much work. Once I decided to go ahead with it I had thrown my heart and soul into it but my h&s wouldn’t have been able to handle the strain if it went on much longer. 

I hugged them all and sent them off with loving & encouraging words. One of the boys stayed back to talk. Remember the little boy I told you who was in my class by mistake. The one I decided to forgive. Yes that one.

His name is Milan. He said something like this “Actually maam I came to your class by mistake. My papa showed me the correct class the next day but I didn’t want to go there. I loved your class very much and wanted to be here. You are the best VBS teacher I ever had”. He didn’t look old enough to have attended more than 2 years of VBS. But seriously, he said all that.

Ask Naina, she was there when he said it. She puffed out her chest in pride and beamed, like as if he was complimenting her.

And me I’m weird I tell you because I’m actually considering doing this next year too.

Aaah well, I'm hoping good sense will prevail sooner than later.

67 comments:

  1. I wrote this post sometime in March but felt a bit silly after I finished. And so decided not to post it. But desperate times call for desperate measures. With all the unpacking and repair works happening around me I cant hear myself think let alone write a post. And my hands begin to fidget if I don't post atleast once a week. So dug this out from the drafts & published it:-P.

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  2. What a lovely read! I know why your class was interesting to the kids. :)

    Unpacking? Repair Works?

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    1. Thank U:-))!!!! Yeah unpacking mainly coz I shifted last week.

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  3. Wow, That was a real inspiring one!!!
    I too am teaching kids in Sunday School & I knw how difficult it is to handle the job! Esp if your kids started questioning you back :)

    Happy to hear that you did your part well... Congrats :)

    Do you have the video (Kids) taken for the song you mentioned! I knw the song, but if you have the choreography - it wud really help me !!!

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    1. Hehe I thought only my kids chatter so much but seems like the entire lot love to talk;-D. Since it was just for a week I muddled thru, I look at all teachers with new eyes now;-D.
      @the video, as far as I knw I dont thk there are any video but gimme a few days let me check if they took any. Will get back to u on this:-).

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  4. I would have been surprised if you hadn't been a hit with the kids and a great teacher. You must be as much fun in person as you seem on the blog, Nancy. It is so much fun to read your posts.

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    1. Awwww Uma.....ur comment warms the cockles of my heart[do ppl still say such things;-P]. Thank U!!!!

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    2. of course, going by the comments on your blog..we all love your blog :-)

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    3. Uma I have to warn you that all these compliments go straight to my head and I become very unbearable to live with for a few hours:-D.

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  5. Came here thru Anjuli's blog....NIce blog.

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  6. You are so funny and it is a good thing you decided to post this ..well post! And all the best with the unpacking of it al.

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    1. It's a good thing eh, thank u for reassuring me;-D. And thank you for the best wishes, I need all that I can get;-P.

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  7. you know... u need to add a widget which lets me subscribe to ur blog via email. Would be real happy if you do that..

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    1. You knw even DI was asking me about the same thing, he even told me how to go about it. Let me go chk wht he told me once again.
      But I do have a subscribe thingie on the sidebar, I thought that was enough???

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    2. Done, I've added it below the 'subscribe to' button. Let me know if it works;-P

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    3. I just did it Nancy ... and yes .. it works just fine... thank u for making it easier for me to read ur blog :)

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    4. I shd be thankful to U, its when u all ask me do I realise tht such an option actually exists:-P.

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  8. Awww, I love that kid! He said that :-))) So glad you ended up enjoying it Nancy :-)))

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    1. Where did I say I enjoyed it;-o????

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  9. bahh I envy the way you can write up things!! and now I get to hear that little kids come up to you and put you on a pedestal and worship you?? *faints* The only good thing that a kid has ever told me is that I actually reminds her of the Witch in Hansel and Gretel!!!

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    1. Get up Sakshi, darna mana hai err I meant mere blog pe fainting mana hai;-D
      "The only good thing that a kid has ever told me is that I actually reminds her of the Witch in Hansel and Gretel!!!"
      Coool...which means u must have made quite an impression on her;-D

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  10. Such a sweet post!!! And, what a sweet boy... It's amazing that he figured what he liked better and actually went for it.
    And, Naina is just so super cute... your daughters and their tales always remind me of my lovely nieces.

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    1. U should have seen my face when he said it Laila...I immediately felt guilty, I mean he had such good taste and I didn't really give him the attention he deserved;-P.

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  11. Miss Miss, Can I come to your class by mistake the next year. Plllllease ....

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    1. Ramesh you better rethink ur decision coz I'm a hard taskmaster and I really go crazy when I see spelling mistakes;-D

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  13. Such a lovely post!! No wonder, the boy liked your class:) Its a pleasure reading your blog. Please, check the spelling of 'surname' in this post.

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  14. Thank U & thank U again:-))!!!!

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  15. Hey, that song you'll did is Kiyam Kiyam (or something like that) isn't it? My MIL used to sing that a lot for Kris when she was a baby (Kris, not MIL :P) Of all the Mallu kiddy songs I've heard, I like the tune of this one the best!

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    1. Gosh Shalom so many of u are familiar with the song...yes its kiyum kiyum...you knw sometimes when I'm jobless I take out the lyrics and sing away & the kids will join me;-D. Its kind of catchy, once u start u cant stop kind of song;-D.

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  16. Yes important. We were talking about world peace.

    God wanted to test you on PEACE and I am sure you have passed the Test with distinction.

    Happy belated Vishu to you

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    1. LOL distinction hmmm....I'm going to take that at face value and thank u very sincerely Maddy;-D!!!!

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  17. I am dead sure you will be doing it again!!!

    Psst! What was your solution for world peace!! See I completely believe you that u were talking about that only!

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    1. Hahahaaaa no solutions Smita, only endless discussions;-D

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  18. God wants you to do His work - which for you is to be involved with the VBS- and he said that through the small boy, Nancy. Believe in it and continue. If you can narrate simple incidents so interestingly how much more interesting will your verbal sessions be !

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    1. Anita my dear friend if you are trying to compliment me u are going the wrong way about it....I'm totally scared now;-o

      Errr...my verbal sessions are just like my posts.....long-winding;-D

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    2. Okok so no comments about your sessions. But give a thought about the first line of my comment :)

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    3. I'm ready, I'm ready but gimme adults anyday;-D

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  19. That's a noble deed :) I also taught Sunday School for many years.

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    1. Hehe had I had joined willingly I wd have believed u completely;-D

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  20. Is this true? I trust most of the things written in this post, but the last few lines seem to be too good to be... :P Maybe the boy was comparing you to his strict teachers at school and besides, this is not a subject as bland as geography anyway. I think you got lucky because of the relative experiences of that boy. Had the teachers at his school been less strict, your chances might have been... :P

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Dear dear DI u r sooo lucky my Naina doesnt read my blog, because if she did she wd have lost no time in hunting u out and court-marshalled u;-/

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  21. Dropped in here after so long.. and what a heart-warming post! :)

    You are one of a kind, Nancy! :) You are just as adorable as your kids.

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    1. Awwww thank you S...after DI's comment[directs dark look at it] urs is like a balm to my soul:-)).

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    2. Everybody other than me have written comments that can be replied with 'Awwww', but you are upset with that one comment? Actually, by getting upset, you have confirmed that it is TRUE :P

      Destination Infinity
      **Thanking the concept of national boundaries**

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    3. Upset & me....huh, where did u get tht idea from DI;-o??? I was just saying tht Naina tends to get upset if anybody dares to point fingers at Mama;-D.
      Me...I'm more comfortable with plain-speak, that way I can reply back in kind;-D

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  22. Well Done Nancy!! And I am very sure you did an awesome job however modestly you have put it across, the play must have been a hit!!
    LOL!! and I can totally understand Naina's pride.. My mum is a AOL teacher and I always swell in pride when her students come to talk to me somewhere in middle of a random street and speak about mum & her classes( they recognise me because I am a look-alike- fatter version of mum)..
    again.. great job Nancy!! doesnt the vacation last 2 months??

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    1. Awesome is overkill, lets just say I did better than I expected;-).
      Awww...now u sound like Naina;-D.
      Summer holidays are for 2 months which is in July-August. These hols[after the final exams ie] are only for 2 weeks. Funny no;-P.

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  23. Hi Nancy...
    Me really happy to see you here again.I felt a bit bad when you left blogger, but now its ok..u came back, with a really nice post.

    You said, you are drafted this and not wanting to post this. Thank God, you posted this. You don't know, how every post of you make somebody happy(there is a big line dear..).And, i would like to say , you are just amazing..
    Sikha

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    1. Sikha u said so many nice things that I don't know what to say......thank U:-)). And I'm glad too that I changed my mind and posted it;-D
      And I didn't leave blogger, I was just playing the fool...in this case an April fools joke;-D

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    2. Oh God!! what a stupid I am!! you posted that on 1st of April..
      You know, I am kind of a tube light yaar, which don't have electronic choke, or a kind of vaccum tube in early electronic equipments which needed some moments to heated up and work..

      Enjoyed it..even it is late..

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    3. Hehe then we'll give good company to eachother, my friends are always calling me a tubelight;-D

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  24. That must have been such a gratifying feeling, Nancy to hear appreciation from your student! How I wish I was in your class :). Its wonderful to know taht you've decided to teach again next year!

    Good luck Nance! Hope next year Naina gets to be in your class and you're saved from her accusatory glances ;)

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    1. I dont know abt gratifying Deeps but I was certainly taken aback. Now that u said it, yes it was gratifying;-P. I'm not going to forget it in a hurry anyways;-D
      Oh Naina is always giving me a hard time;-/

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  25. :) :) as usual, an amazing happy post! it's beautiful when you get compliments from kids cuz they speak from the heart :)

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    1. Yes I knw, for all the attitude I show, the truth is that I was totally overwhelmed by the compliment:-)

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  26. m not surprised wot read what the boy said abt u. m joining ur fan's list too!

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  27. Very Noble and a very heart warming post..
    Cheers! : )

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  28. I am at work and reading your blog like some maniac. I can't really stop. I have 200 page proposal staring at me and I can't care to look at it.

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  29. Awwww Anita...such a nice thing to say!!!!
    200 page proposal sounds very intimidating & I'd hate to get u into trouble. Thanks U for the lovely compliment:-))!!!!!

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  30. How fabulous are you! I Lol'd at your VBS predicament. You have a way with words. Now, tell me this. Are you working on a book? If not, why?

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    1. Hahahaaaa Vidhya if I start believing everything u guys tell me I'll need a therapist soon......to bring me back to earth, what else;-D.
      To answer your question.....one needs a plot my dear to work on a book;-P. But you are diverting my attention aren't u.....attacking me before I do you huh;-/

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