“If we are to create peace in the world, we must begin with the children.” – Mahatma Gandhi
To add, peace begins with us – the adults who educate children.
A tense beginning at home translates to an irritable day at work – sounds familiar?
Consider this morning scene – you are busy packing lunch for your son, getting breakfast ready for the entire family, preparing coffee and loading clothes into the washing machine. Your son had to submit an assignment that he has completely forgotten – he asks you to help. There’s ten minutes left for you to get ready and leave for work. You get upset – terribly upset. You start yelling at your son for being irresponsible, at your spouse for not checking at what the child is doing and feel irritated.
You go to school and as you enter the classroom, you notice the class is messy. How do you deal with this?
It is highly likely that you shout at all the students and ask them to clean up immediately. You had planned for a forty minute class but you could actually teach for only 20 minutes.
It is probably not possible to be calm at all times. We are however learners for life – so we can look at the following tips to bring in peace in our classrooms:
1. Have fun activities like enacting commonplace scenes and encourage positive responses to resolve conflicts.
2. Make students write few adjectives to the opening line, “I am peaceful because……”
3. Assign the role of peace ambassadors. Begin with four children and then increase the numbers slowly. Make it fun and by the end of a term, let all the students get a chance to become peace ambassadors
4. For older children, discuss world conflicts and allow them to express in a creative, respectful manner. Set some ground rules before discussing this as a project. The project can be : “World Peace : A Review” or “Progress Report on Peace – Countries of the world “
5. Mindfulness, meditation practices, time outdoors can be woven subtly into the daily routine of every child and adult.
6. Ancient scriptures are full of wisdom. Make them relevant to your classroom, by using images or quotes that are calm and peaceful.
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