Once, during a field visit to one of our partner schools, Chrysalis' Marketing Head, Santhosh observed this event. The teacher asked a question, "What will happen if our muscles don't work?" The majority of the students had answers like, "We can't walk" or "We can't talk". There was a kid on the last bench who wrote down the answer as, "We'll die because the heart is a muscle". But, fearing that his answer was wrong, he tried to change his answer to match everyone else's. Santhosh tried telling the kid to not change his answer. Then, the teacher asked what was his answer and after a lot of hesitation, he told his original answer. The class laughed but the teacher was surprised. She never knew that kid was so intelligent.
Try out this fun idea once in while: Let's encourage students to give only wrong answers. Not only will the ThinkRoom be filled with laughs but it'll slowly melt away the fear of being wrong in the kids' minds. Making mistakes is human and we learn and grow by taking a few missteps. But, many kids don't know or understand this. So, let's teach the kids that it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them. It's also important that we let the kids know that it's not okay to repeat their mistakes.
The lesson to be learned from this is that we shouldn't judge kids based on their marks and the mistakes they make. We shouldn't group them as slow learners because they have a hard time catching up with their peers. Kids are sensitive and they already feel bad about themselves when they don't do well academically. Labeling them as "slow learners" makes them feel even worse about themselves. This affects their self-esteem and they might hesitate and overthink to participate in ThinkRoom due to the fear that they might be wrong. As educators, we can lift kids up with encouragement and positive reinforcement.
Chrysalis' ThinkRooms are filled with these principles. We aim to stand up for the child and build a safe and happy environment through activity-based learning and research-based pedagogy. We imbibe the kids with positivity and create a curiosity for learning from a young age so that they can carry on their love of learning into adulthood. Please click here to know more about ThinkRoom and how we operate.