February 20, 2009

Peace Blossoms in Delft

Sahba Shaker & Siboleke Ngqathane in Delft with a group of students
Last Saturday's session for Baha'i School in Delft felt like a milestone had been achieved. We hooked up a mic so we could hear the children speak. It was our second class since the new year began. It was time to create rules of good conduct. I wanted them to come up with the suggestions themselves. The mic enabled what is usually a very challenging process of encouraging them to speak, the most enjoyable experience of offering ideas for what will make this year's classes a success.

With much ease, the children raised their hands and excitedly offered rules like "No stealing", "Come into the class with a good attitude toward learning", and "Don't disturb others". I couldn't stop smiling. This group of children were demonstrating how much they care about the environment within the class. It was the first time full attention was focused on what matters the most about us coming together and enjoying the class. They were so eager to keep it going -- and the microphone was the key to opening up their sense of feeling important or significant because it was so quiet and everyone was actually listening (which is so NOT the norm).

I feel now we can always refer to the list of rules and they will own them. It's a new beginning and a long but tremendously rewarding road to walk with them as they begin to blossom into peaceful blossoms.