The Little Princess and the Pigeons
There has always been something quaint about ‘games teachers’ in school. I’m sure everyone at some point in time has encountered a games teacher who believes in punishing kids more than really letting them enjoy their games! I wonder why ‘games’, perhaps one of the most fun things in life, are always equated to strictness and exercise. Perhaps this is just one more of those things that adults diligently make boring.
The temple that I go to also has a primary school in its compound. The compound is shared for the school’s games classes. As I sat there today morning, a neat set of four rows of ten each in red, blue, yellow and green lined themselves up, with a 40 something man with big spectacles and a big moustache! It was of course our Kindergarten boys out for their exercise regime. I wonder if this typical look of all games teachers is just a coincidence or is it a criterion they have to adhere to in places where they get trained?
The 1,2,1,2 begins……hands going up and down, hands going side and up, heads going up and down. The horribly monotonous things we get kids to do in the name of building fitness and discipline! !!!. lol. And so as this ‘extremely engaging and interesting’ session continues, the odd kid in every row can’t help but miss the ‘fun’ of it all. With all hands going up, these kids would have their heads going down, or with the hands going up these little smarties having their heads down! Mix ups are fun, aren’t they?
Just when this boring routine had reached its peak with the odd lost smarties becoming the norm rather than the exception and the majority of the class looking around the compound, which also shares the space with pigeons, we had a new visitor on the scene.
A toddler about the same age as the class , in her bright pink t-shirt and a blue denim skirt, with sport shoes and a high pony tale swinging from right to left marches across the space with her mommy dearest to feed the pigeons. The heads turn, our entire last row takes a complete 180 degree turn, away from their very interesting games teacher to our little princess who has definitely caught their attention! She was definitely distracting all the little princes from their ‘physical fitness’.
Once the pigeons were fed, she walked away and leaving most of our distracted souls to return to their monotony. But one boy, the last kid in the red row was not going to return just as yet. His eyes followed her till she disappeared from his sight.
The result? The 180 degree turn had lasted far too long to have been missed by our teacher. A nice pat on his head followed with a demand to get back to class, to which our little prince had to just nod his approval.
I had a hearty laugh. Are we really trying to teach kids that putting our hands and heads up and down is more fascinating and worth learning than seeing a little princess feed pigeons?! Or perhaps we are simply training to negate the fun things and substitute it with the boring, mundane, routine tasks. Perhaps training for the 9-5 job does begin very early in life! Or am I missing the “fun angle” in routine jobs?!!
But I felt happy there was at least one kid in that bunch of 40 who was going to wander away from the routine, at least for a bit if not forever! Cheers to all the wanderers and wandering moments!