Children are our future, where better to start than with them?

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  • Sushmitha Francis

    Curriculum Developer,
    Fountainheadleaders.

I joined Fountainhead Leaders in December 2017 as the Curriculum Developer for Primary classes. I hold a Masters in Psychology and my passion has always been to work with children. Stemming from a Psychology background, it has opened up a myriad of perspectives on human behavior and their needs over the years for me. Looking at our society today, I feel that everyone needs someone to listen to them, someone to understand them at their level, someone to lend not just a physical helping hand but an emotional hand as well. Especially as we focus on children, they require it more than the adults at times, except, they might not be aware of it or understand it yet. If children are the future of this country, where better to start than with them?.

Their minds are fast filling bowls with unlimited space to be filled.  It's important we understand what those bowls hold and what's the best way we can help them manage what’s in those bowls. Our curriculum consists of concepts like self-esteem, independence, assertiveness, which has proved to be a very important aspect in a person’s life. While developing these lesson plans, it has not only seen to benefit the children, but it has broken through to me as well. There are things that I have learnt working with these concepts which I have never paid heed to before.

Growing up, I have always struggled with self-esteem issues, feeling I am not good enough, I am not talented enough, I am not smart enough which resulted in me doing poorly in my studies, taking the back seat when it came to using my talents, etc. This all seemed to stem from incidents in my life where I found myself dwelling in my failures more than striving to improve myself. Incidents such as when I used to get opportunities to sing on stage and it did not go as planned, either I got too nervous or forgot my lyrics, which made me feel like I was just not good enough. Or when it came to studies, if I felt I put in my best effort and it would end up in poor results, I would find myself losing hope easily.

Up until the 10th grade, I refused to acknowledge that I would become better, that I could be satisfied with things I do. It was after my 10th when I continued in my own school pursuing 11th grade was when I decided to change the way I view myself. It was not an easy task to go about and one person who stood out to me through this was one of my teacher’s in my school who encouraged me and showed me my true potential. I can never forget her words to me, “You might fail a few times, but that is okay, you are capable of much more than you think, you need to just start using those capabilities and giving yourself praise for it rather than being disappointed with it.” That is when I realized I had been undermining myself and was not giving myself enough credit, that I was reducing my self-esteem rather than trying to increase it. Once I realized all this is was when my life took a turn. I started putting in more effort into things I did, I started giving myself credit for that effort. I found myself feeling better as a person, excelling in my studies, displaying my talents whenever the opportunity rose and actually using my potential. Looking back, I realized that things would have been a little easier if all my teachers were supportive and encouraging just as that one teacher was. We may not notice the importance of having a sense of self-regard in our lives, but once we do, as individual’s we can begin to start living up to our full potential.

While formulating the lesson plans, we focus on very specific aspects of the concepts, for example, while working on self-esteem, we emphasize on children becoming aware of their uniqueness and the things that make them stand out as individuals, their likes and dislikes, finding ways to love themselves, finding ways to respect themselves, what they think about themselves from the outside, their talents and abilities, dealing with success and failures, focusing on the process rather than the result, the importance their name holds, ways in which they can increase their self-awareness and self-regard and helping them find ways to view themselves in a more effective manner.

Our lesson plans are a lot of fun. We have a lot of activities that the students can do along with their parents. These include either exercise sheets, posters or different activities to do together. We believe that an active participation from the parents is very important in the student’s life as the parents can be aware of what their child is going through and be a part of their child’s life in that way. We bring out our concepts through storytelling, videos, songs, games, and many such activities.

I don't know if children will eventually become aware of themselves, but I'm certainly aware that I'm having fun developing these lessons

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