Be, do, and feel good

Reflections: The many invaluable lessons our teachers teach us...

Reflections

The English period was unusually quiet. The once-a-month exercise in creative writing for the sixth-graders was in progress. As the young students were penning their composition, an argument in hushed tones was building up from the south-west corner of the class where the twin sisters Tina and Rina sat.

The exchange of words between them was getting louder. Soon, it became evident that a fight had broken and that the intervention of the teacher was needed.

Quietly and tenderly, our class teacher, Mrs Roselyn, walked to the sisters and enquired what was going on. Each whispered, for the fear of letting the entire class know, of the cause of their fight, and gave the teacher their stand-in on whatever the issue that was troubling them.

In her characteristic gentle and yet stern manner, Mrs Roselyn spoke to the sisters at length, after which the issue seemed to have been resolved. Though the rest of us were eager to know what caused the misunderstanding and how the problem was solved, we would know of it only a day later.

The next day was a bright Wednesday and classes began with the usual Catechism period. But that day, what was unusual was that Mrs Roselyn chose to take us out to the fields of the sprawling campus of our convent for the class. As we sat under the canopy of a large tamarind tree, we were excited at the change of scenario and got enthusiastic about the class. Shortly, Mrs Roselyn began the period which covered the teaching of Moral Science to the young minds.

“What you see is the beauty of God’s creation around us,” she started. “Look around, the shrubs and the trees; the buzzing bees and the colour-changing chameleons; the birds and the insects,” she went on pointing to a colourful butterfly that darted just then from the row of marigolds in a flower bed at the corner of the field.

“All this beauty is for all of us; the good and the naughty, the studious and the lazy, the talkative and the quiet; God does not distinguish among us; He opens his goodness to all. It is important then that we who enjoy his goodness, in turn, become instruments of goodness. And becoming instruments of goodness means that we learn to share freely, forgive generously, and care warmly for all around us, including the planet we live in,” so saying, she continued with the class stressing on how we ought to choose goodness over everything else in the world.

We listened with rapt attention to the values that were being emphasised effectively by drawing inspiration from the natural and glorious setting of the school field.

Later in the day, the grapevine had it that the twin sisters who had fought over sharing their stationery vowed to share their belongings with each other in the future. As for me, the words of Mrs Roselyn would echo in my ears for the rest of my schooling and urge me to believe in goodness over anything else. And every Teacher’s Day, I recall the emphatic decree on goodness of my sixth-grade teacher and gratefully pay my tribute to all teachers who shape and stretch the minds of their students.

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