What did my school teach me? Well, this is one question for which the students, many parents or teachers do not have a clear understanding. Are we in schools just to learn the subjects like Languages, Sciences, or the Mathematics? Many students think that is what they are in school for.
Did me or my school fail?….
If that was the main reasons schools existed than my school certainly failed miserably in imparting education to me. I am not just poor in Mathematics and Sciences, even my hold on languages is not that good. But has it mattered in my life? I have crossed 55 years of my life and weakness in the academic subjects has never come in my way. My life has not been less than outstanding in any way; I have lived well for sure.
Education goes beyond the classrooms…..
What did my school teach me which helped me do well? It provided me with an environment to bond with children from different regions and strata of society. Thanks to my education I did not know that people could be ‘discriminated’ based on region and religion. We were all just students, caste, creed, region, or religion did not matter. There were no gender biases either. The uniform taught us all that we were all same irrespective of what profession our parents indulged in or what appointments they held in life.
The school taught me the ‘good’ behaviour; how to talk and walk or even sit or eat. It gave every student a stage to showcase his/ her talent/ skills. The school taught us that life was a stage and each one of us had to find our own space on that it with our skills and talent. It did not matter what marks we got in the academic subjects. Yes, there were examinations which one had to pass, and a normal student did get stressed. But finally, what mattered was that we all passed out from the school. The marks I got in the exams have not made much difference in my ‘goodness’ or well-being.
It taught me that life was about caring and sharing. One did not have to search too hard for happiness, it was there in everyday activities. Everything in school was available for anyone to use without discrimination.
It taught me that learning was not just restricted to classrooms. There was as much, if not more to learn, outdoors. Physical training had an important place in life. It taught me sportsman spirit, the art of healthy competition. There was no space for jealousy or manipulations in life. The school taught me to play my heart out on the sports field and still have the humility to accept defeat when it came. Defeat in one game did not mean end of life; there were always other options to showcase my strength (or justify my existence). One cannot be ‘best’ in everything and all days are not same. Team always mattered more than individuals: We mattered more than I.
The school taught me the art of organising and staying organised. It also taught me that teams which have good bonding and understanding organise events better. It taught me that leaders are not born or trained, they just emerge. Situations turn ordinary people into leaders. The school helped me understand the meaning but also taught me the importance of taking responsibility.
Today as I stand at the verge of retiring from the second inning of my life (profession) and look back, I realise how much the first inning (school learning) mattered. It is what I learnt in the first 15 years of my life that has helped me in living well through my second phase of life. This education will certainly help me living the balance of my life with grace.