Dear sisters and brothers, I am very good with people who already meditate. I can talk on that subject at length.
Without effective teaching … I don’t mean the way we have been feeding children with information. I am not talking about that sort of education but helping students to become something they can be proud of. What are we trying to teach children? Something much more is required than feeding information. And what is that? Interest. To my heart, it is to create that fire in children, the restlessness to learn more, to become something worthwhile, to create interest. Once we create interest in their hearts, they will observe whatever is being taught like a sponge. How to create interest? By showcasing that interest ourselves.
Let us recollect our childhood days when we were taught by various teachers. One or two of them still stand out in our minds and we feel like touching their feet. We wish we had the opportunity of revisiting them and expressing gratitude and thanks to them. At times we end up praying for such individuals: ‘May God bless them. Because of them, I am what I am today.’ We have to create that sort of a relationship with students, so that in the future they remember, ‘Oh, I remember Ma’am who taught me in year 5 and I owe a lot to her.’ Automatically they bow down to such a person, you see. It is said that it is better to teach a man how to fish than to buy him fish every day. No point in feeding information every day; the art of learning must be taught, so that students always absorb newer things, things that you have not thought of also. You will be wondering after a few years, ‘Oh, when did we learn this?’
Now, how do we enable children to become effective learners? You can conduct a small experiment. I often tell children to always stay ahead of the class by two or three chapters in the textbook. So, when they are already familiar with the subject matter, and when you are teaching them, they are already focused. They’re fully aware of what is being taught. And they’ll pay more attention to those things they have not been able to understand. If I have read chapter 5, when the teacher comes to it in class, because I know what is difficult in chapter 5, I will pay more attention to it.
So, I would like you to tell children, ‘Pay attention to such and such chapter. I am going to teach that chapter tomorrow. Come prepared. Even slight exposure helps. You need not go through every word of it. Even if you look at the pictures.’ And this way, I think with minimal effort, they’ll be able to learn much more. The primary thing is to inculcate as much interest as is possible in their hearts.
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.