Saturday, March 31, 2007

the difference

The best way to overcome a fear or obstacle is to square 'em shoulders and face it off straight in the eye.

Most likely, one might just find that the problem might not be the intimidating monster you thought it was in the first place. That the problem was more in your mind than anything.

And sometimes, increase in experience and learning helps equip skills and tactics that combat and desensitize - you learn to numb your senses, rise above it and not get affected.

So, bemusedtots had the chance to gain experience with more of it, a week packed with them last week, and four more this week.

While things are getting better, I'm not so sure that it's me though. More and more, I'm convinced that how the sessions turn out are dependent on the kids.

It's nothing to do with group size, age, or intelligence, I discovered - sometimes an entire school hall of these ickle ones can be so quietly attentive and then endearingly responsive, that the presentation was not only painless, but very much enjoyed. I leave with a sense of having accomplished something, that they might really have learnt something meaningful out of it.

Other times, I just breathe deeply and tell myself that if anything, it's good training for my patience and composure. :p

As I rounded up this week with a double-session today, the experience could very well be the best I've had.

The children in both sessions were perfect - best behaviour, best responses, clearest demonstration of the knowledge of how to care and help the people around them. Most of all, a genuine desire to do good. They nudged the most bashful ones up to answer questions, showed support with warm, exuberant applause as the timid ones trudged up, shouted encouragement when their friends stumble over the answers, and whooped and clapped when as the smiling buddies walked back clutching the simple reward - a sheet of stickers.

So what if they were deemed to be slower - they knew much more than their mainstream counterparts on how to care and share. If you ask me, they are indeed in a different world, a more genuine one. Where you care more about encouraging your friends with applause. Not boo-ing them when they make mistakes, so that you feel better or more superior, or hope that their answers do not get accepted, just so you might have a go at it. They even pointed to their friends, asking you to choose them so that these shy ones can have a chance.

And they say 'thank you' with sincere warmth, where you can feel that they really mean it. Not a hastily mumbled one cos it's decreed by their teachers, as if 'the right thing to do even though I'm entitled to it anyway'.

They were a joy to teach, and I felt sharp tugs in my heart as I interacted with them, lil' bittersweet aches for them, this wonderful bunch.

If I might say so, they didn't need a lesson in 'care and share'. They are probably more than qualified to teach it.

Perhaps that's one reason why they are not the main target group. Hmm


imp said...

i think after dealing with adults everyday, it's kinda refreshing to manage children, and realize their beautiful simplicity and innocence.

b.muse said...

yup, so true.. especially heartening, and humbling, to see those who really care for those around them.