Embrace the Age, Smile and Engage………as…..WE CARE Children develop a strong bond with parents as well as teachers. While parents guide the children at home, teachers help the students learn at school so that they can adapt to the ways of the world. On 3rd August, 2019 the school organised "We, The People"- an open discussion forum with parents and teachers so that these two master minds in the child's life, with the Primary Head Mistress Ms Nina Mukhopadhaya as moderator and Upper-Primary coordinator Ms AshaKiran to brain storm and get better ideas to take care of everything around us despite the challenges and the hurdles we come across. This free flowing session brought out many insights. The pointers addressed in the discussion were: 1. We feel parents are the first and the most influential teachers for their children. * Parents and Teachers voiced out that Parents take a predominant part of the child's world. Parents should be conscious of the fact that they are the role models and children try to imitate all the things they say and do. Hence should make sure that children learn the right things. Moderator- Every stage of life is important to inculcate values. Children do follow the parents blindfolded. School has curriculum benchmark. Teachers are vigilant but cannot substitute parents. Parents will also set a generic benchmark about expectations in academics and behavioral aspect as children grow. Whenever there is a deviation, it calls for discussion and correction. 2. Do we feel respecting parents, teachers, and elders is a must or a pass? *Parents and teachers agreed to the fact that respecting parents, teachers and elders is a must. By showing respect to others we lose nothing and on the other hand, we increase our stature. Respect begets respect and guidance from parents, teachers and elders is essential for children. Sometimes, media also has a disrespectful content being shown. We need to monitor them and tell the right things. Moderator- We need to walk the talk whether it is punctuality, traffic rules, responsibility towards society or discipline. Parents need to avoid discussing teachers in front of children and teachers must not discuss parents in front of students. Instead each party must develop respect toward the other party. Children look at us through microscope. Teachers have to be extremely patient. We need to make children future ready by not over indulgence and spoon feeding, else they will not be able o stand strong in the outside world. Discipline and counselling should be done back home as well. 3.How do we train students to be self-reliant but not bully? * Parents and teachers said that self-reliance in children is good but this should not lead to pride and contempt for others. Pride may lead to dominating attitude and bullying. Superior strength and knowledge should be used for helping others, not for pushing down others. Altruism is good but not selfishness. Bullies should be made aware that their bullying will make them unpopular, turn away other kids from them leading to isolation. This will discourage bullying. Moderator- Ganging up and grouping is not acceptable in school. Students must value inclusiveness and follow it. Accidental injuries might occur but not intentional. Abusive, inappropriate language cannot be accepted in school . We need to discuss at both the ends. 4. When is the right time to talk/ discuss about bodily changes/ puberty? *Adolescence and puberty is a natural phenomenon. Students may get awkward without awareness. Children experience these changes as early as 8 plus years. When and how do address this. Children start discussing the difference in adults and children at 5 years of age. So, counselling is needed. Open discussion helps to reduce wrong perceptions. Parents suggested to send a mail before having such sessions in school. Moderator- We have to handle the awkwardness and make them aware of the changes. Some children may speak and some may not. Parents should also discuss proactively to clear the confusions in the child's mind. Boys and girls will be separately counselled in school. Parents can discuss on reflection and also proactively paving the way to bring the topic, in small steps. We sincerely thank the 'parents' who felt that the session was necessary. Their participation is truly appreciated. They sincerely tried to understand, introspect, and suggest contributing a great deal towards the issues faced by the students and children in general. A great session where teachers and parents came face to face and exchanged their observations to deliver best support to our children.