Teach and learn

Rinki’s mother worried about her daughter not revising her lessons. But Mother knew how to get her to study and have fun at the same time.

Published - July 21, 2016 04:59 pm IST

Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi

Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi

Nine-year-old Rinki was fed up. She thought about her mother and how she could only give Rinki commands like “do your home work”, “revise the lesson” and “give the multiplication table for 12”. Meanwhile, Rinki’s mother was worried because Rinki was intelligent, but hardly studied. Mother felt that she should revise her lessons, at least for half an hour at home, every day.

Game play

One day, Mother returned from work and saw Rinki in the balcony left to her own devices. She soon became busy with house work. Then, she heard voices from the balcony. She stood near the window beside the balcony and watched. Rinki had arranged all her dolls — Charlie, the brown bear, Annie, a raggedy Ann doll, Puddle, a soft little poodle, John the joker, and Santa — on the wooden bench in the balcony. She was writing on the black chart hung on the wall with a chalk and talking to the dolls. In fact, Rinki was acting the part of her teacher while the dolls were her students!

Mother went back to the kitchen and set the cooker on the stove. And right then, an idea flashed on her mind. She finished her work and sat with her daughter.

“Shall we play ‘teacher-teacher’?” Mother cut in. “You be the teacher, and Charlie, Santa, Annie and I can be your students.

This time, Rinki was only too happy to obey her. She brought all her toys and arranged them as if they were all seated in the class room. She asked her mother to occupy the last row as she was the tallest student!

“Now, why don’t you take out your books and teach us exactly the way your teachers taught you today?” Mother suggested.

Rinki ran and brought her school bag. She took out her social studies text book and began reading out the lesson taught that day at school.

“Hey you, Charlie and Annie!” Rinki, who paused in the middle, threw a small chalk piece near the toy bear. “I know you are talking. This is not a fish market. This is a classroom. You pay attention or I’ll send you to the headmistress’ room,” she said in a stern voice, trying to imitate her social studies teacher. After reading out the lesson, Rinki posed some questions to her ‘tallest student’ and corrected her when she answered one or two of them wrongly.

The game went on for about half an hour and Rinki completed ‘teaching’ all the subjects that were taught by her teachers that day.

Rinki and her mother, along with the toys, continued playing the game every day. Rinki enjoyed the time with her mother.

When the results of the Summative Assessment were announced, Rinki had got A+ in all her subjects, and she proudly declared to her mother, “See Mom, I got A+ in all subjects even without revising the lessons every day.”

Mother smiled and nodded. She knew that “teaching is learning again”.

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