Gijubhai’s Divasvapna is the story of a teacher who succeeds in making innovative experiments in the classroom. In the true spirit of the book’s title the teacher daydreams of igniting a fire for learning in the students. And he works hard to turn the dream into reality. His one year journey in the classroom was not a cakewalk though.
First day when he entered the class, he was full of energy and enthusiasm. He had been allotted class IV by the headmaster. The teacher had come prepared with the activities for the day. He knew the students were used to a lot of noise and disorder in the school. He should give them the practice of remaining silent. Let them savour the joy of silence. His first activity, thus, was a game of silence.
As he entered the class, he explained everything about the game. That the game would begin with the teacher’s uttering the words, Om Shanti. After that everyone in the class would become silent. All the doors, windows would be closed. The classroom would be dark. There would be a complete silence in the class. The teacher had expected that the students would get a new experience from the game. They would get an opportunity to listen to the sounds outside.
But the students had some other plans. Why would they listen to the instructions of a new teacher, specially the one who was polite and soft? They were used to loud instructions, corporal punishments etc. None of them paid attention to him. Instead they became noisy and mischievous. Some of them made catcalls, others were clapping, laughing, repeating the words, ‘Om shanti’ in a tone of mockery. The teacher was completely at a loss. He couldn’t do what other teachers or even the headmaster expected him to do, that is give corporal punishment to the students. It would have been against the very idea of education for which he had joined the school.
Unable to understand what to do next the teacher gave them the day off from the school, much before the school was to get over. When the headmaster came to know about this, he was angry. He reprimanded the teacher and asked him to stop making such experiments in the school.
The teacher had failed on the very first day in the class. He was very disappointed.
What should the teacher do the next day? Should he use the same game, the same strategy or he should make some changes? Should be be harsh with the students, as suggested by the headmaster and the other teachers? Let’s know about all these in the next episode.