Poem depicting the plight of children
TO PARENTS, TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS
LISTEN TO THE CHILD BEFORE YOU TEACH
IF I WERE A CHILD AND YOU WERE LISTENING
HERE IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW
AS I WISH AND WONDER IN MY OWN SILENT WAY
What is to become of me!
From the day I was born
Perhaps even before
In utter silence
Known only to me
As I wished and wondered
What is to become of me?
and what I am here for?
Would someone tell me the story?
Of where we come from
Or where we are going
What is my purpose, if any?
In them thar scheme of things?
Am I here to do merriment
like the grasshopper
or live in fear like the squirrel
letting voluptuous summers slip by
so not to fall short
during the winter cold!
No, it just can’t be so
I am here to feel the vicissitudes
of my yearning Soul
urging me to fulfill its goal
I am not merely a fallen leaf
blowing in the wind
I am part of the whole
being needed in earnest
to add to its growth
But how would I ever know
unless someone connects me
to our yesterdays
so I too KNOW
where we had been
and what lies ahead
in the yet unknown.
As educators, we need to concentrate on understanding that inner longing and thereby
resolving that silent suffering of each and every child the world over. That needs to be our
one and only mission. And for that we need to start by listening to the child and
remembering that all children come equipped with the skills he or she needs to survive
and grow except the knowledge he or she is not privy to.
Only we can fill that gap by exposing the child to our world in a practical, integrated and
chronological manner. Our guidepost has to be:Just because we know it does not mean
that the child knows it too. We can, however, shorten the learning time by sifting, sorting,
condensing and integrating the essence of our knowledge and then presenting it as an
overview to the child, much like a continuous story with no gaps whatsoever but with an
ending and a punch line!.