Saturday, July 05, 2014

What I learnt from Master Shifu

Entry two - 5th July 2014

I had the first movie time of the year in school. I showed my kids the movie "Kungfu Panda", which they absolutely loved. They have come to realize that movies are no longer just fun time. They will have to think and they will have to write. At the bare minimum, they will have to apply the skills they learn in comprehension and listening, they will have to make connections between the movie and their own life and they will have to think about values of the classroom every time they watch a movie.

After the movie was over and we finished discussing the characters and their qualities, the big idea and the examples of values shown in the movie, we moved on to discussing what we could learn from it. I asked my students to write it in their diary so that we could share it with the class. And as is the case with every time they write their diary, I write my own blog.

Being a teacher, what I learned from Kungfu Panda is the teacher can have no favourites. Master Shifu once had a favourite student called Tai Lung (the leopard). He was so dear to him that he raised him with the dream of becoming the dragon warrior (a super duper awesome Kungfu practitioner). However, when the moment came, Tai Lung realized that he was not the one who would wear the crown. He couldn't accept the reality of being deprived from the honour. His arrogance turned into anger. His anger into hatred. His hatred into violence of the highest order, so much so that he had to be put in solitary confinement. He escaped to return to Master Shifu to seek his revenge. Fortunately, in this case, fate favoured the truthful and brave Po who helped Shifu defeat Tai Lung.

As a teacher, I can have no favourites. The favouritism could forever boost the ego of the student to the level of arrogance. This arrogance could further lead to many negative emotions in their minds which will take them away from their primary goal. Moving away from their primary goal will only cause further negativity in their minds. The favouritism, thus, will send students on the path of self destruction instead of encouraging them to do better.

I get scary reminders in class itself, when my students place their self above their team and their egos above their goals. They spend undue amounts of energy and time on quarreling over petty issues instead of utilizing them on work.

Sumaiya and Mehak, the two leaders who represent the class in front of the school and  handle the role of Central Ministers, acted in a manner that led to the loss of a beautiful opportunity for their class today in the Science exhibition. They were so dejected that they simply gave up on each other and the competition. I was saddened to see such a weak display of values by the leaders of the class. Clearly, I have not held Sumaiya, Mehak and the rest of my class to the same expectations in class, which is why they couldn't demonstrate leadership and teamwork when they were put to the test.

I have to learn from Master Shifu's example, give my kids their dragon scroll and show them what they can truly become. There is no secret ingredient, only the truth within them. 

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