Sharpening pencils, moulding minds

This morning, before sitting down to plan my day, I started sharpening my pencils. I have just bought a box of “Funn” pencils and I love them. No more red and black, or black and grey pencils. These pencils are beautiful ! All the colours of the rainbow and then some!

I call them my happy pencils because
a) They look so attractive. It lifts my spirits just looking at them.
b) They write beautifully and make me want to write.
c) My students fight to use them. No longer is writing a chore for them. It’s now fun. I use the pencils as a promo, “I’ll give you the pink pencil if you write neatly.” Or “The purple pencil is yours if you write a nice essay.”

Coming back to what I started off saying, I was sharpening my “Funn” pencils. I love sharpening pencils. It reminds me of helping people sharpen their skills and bringing out the best in them. It reminds me of my students.

As I sharpened the pencils, I found that some sharpened easily. These were my students who were easy to teach. They respond well. I don’t have to put in much effort to bring out the best in them.

With other pencils, I realized that I had to actually apply less pressure while sharpening them or else the point would break. When they were sharpened very gently, they were okay. These reminded me of some of my students who are so low on self esteem or so scared and scarred by criticism, that it needs lots of love and praise and gentleness to bring out their best.

For some pencils I had to use a different sharpener, just like I have to devise new methods of teaching for some of my students. For some, reading is enough, for others I have to supplement it with audio visual aids, with yet others, I have to get them to do practical stuff. Some respond best to stories, others need to play to learn.

And finally, I realized that I need to keep sharpening my pencils. I need to continuously encourage my students to learn, explore, experiment, achieve. It is a never ending process but the results are always worth it!

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