There is a tide among the lives of men, which, when taken at the flood, leads to fortune. Shakespeare could very well have been alluding to our children at the ATS Valley School. For they have taken the tide, and are embarked upon a joyous journey of discovery.
This is not happenstance. There is a method to the madness. Our approach to their upbringing is not limited to just pedagogy and classroom interaction. There is a dream. In this dream, our children feel good about themselves; inside, where it really matters. And this feeling of happiness inside , comes when they are confident and unafraid. And this confidence comes from not just the environment, but also the way they are treated.
The environment; warm without being smothering, colorful without being ablaze, open and yet knowing boundaries. The physical space gives birth to a feeling of general well-being that is reflected in the early morning gaggle as the children run up the ramp to the entrance. The hued classrooms with walls adorned with children’s work and posters with their X-Why-Z questions as a gentle reminder that this is a space where doors and minds are always open. Where the hallways are replete with children’s art and craft, a proud reminder of how far they have come from when they entered.
And then of course, the emotional environment that our teachers work assiduously to create. Armed with a list of parameters to judge every child in their class, every fortnight they assess children in 6 to 7 areas that have nothing to do with academics, but everything to do with knowing their children as individuals; their shyness quotient, their peer relationships, confidence levels. Nothing at all to do with text-books, but a far more important catalyst to their growth-cerebral of course, but also their spiritual, physical, emotional and social upbringing.
It is this growth that is urging them to push themselves, in public speaking, that all pervasive fear in the hearts of men, and yet our children take to it like fish to water. To push themselves in to rappelling, with none of the natural doubt that men face when letting themselves of the edge of a 50 feet high wall. To push themselves to be more curious and inquisitive, with none of the fear that men have of appearing ignorant. To push themselves to improve their handwriting, to learn how to cycle, to push themselves in their work ethic. No wonder then that we love our children. And we feel proud of them.
For you see, we do not know where they will end up in life, or what they will do. But do we see immense possibilities? Yes, for we believe that anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple, but none amongst us can count the number of apples in a seed.