It had been 2 weeks since the beginning of the new session for the children. The transition, I felt, seemed smooth since they had not been shuffled. We were actually supposed to play this game in the first week after the session began but just helping the kids feel comfortable with the new class and new teachers took time.
Last week, since there was so much familiarity among the kids, they began to complain a lot about each other. So we decided, this was the time to help them connect with each other. Also, we had started to talk about being responsible for our own books, pencils, tables & chairs, etc.
We, my partner and I, moved all the tables and chairs to one side, sat down on the floor with the children in a circle and first waited for them to settle. Then, the teacher showed them the ball of wool and said,”We will be playing a little game today. We have been talking about this class as a family, so let’s see how we can all be connected.” She then went on to explain the rules to the children. “I will begin by throwing this ball of wool towards someone while holding one end of it and before I throw it, I will take a pledge. I will be responsible for one thing, be it in school or at home and will take care of that thing always and try not to break my pledge.”
The children were anxious and restless, awaiting their turns. The teacher held one end of the wool, took her pledge and threw the ball of wool to me. I, in turn, took my pledge, looped the string on my finger and passed on the wool to a student. This went on, of course not smoothly as the kids would keep raising their hands or prompting their friends to throw the ball to them. After 5-7 passes, they began to see the magic. The web was taking shape and the children let out gasps and “wows!!”.
It was surprising to hear the pledges they took. Some pledged to care for their younger siblings, while some pledged to care for their books. Some for their plants at home and some for their pets. Of course, parents, teachers and friends too were mentioned, but just to think of something like this, a responsibility like this at such a young age, I was amazed! We really do underestimate kids now-a-days.
The web got more complex but the children seemed more settled & calm and somehow, the vibes too of the class felt very positive. It was like we had just finished a very sacred and calming session of MPL (Mindful Personal Leadership).
Megha Jobanputra, Alumnus, I Am A Teacher