The children arrive at school one by one, on the back of their parents’ bicycles and bikes or on foot. They walk the dirt floor of the school into their classrooms with animated steps.
I look forward to the arrival of the children of the blue group. With me are the two Indian educators responsible for this group, Shanti and Poonam. They come one by one, with the lightness of their 5 years of age, different in their colors, their hair, their clothes and their nationalities. The nine children of the blue group have incredibly different nationalities and backgrounds, including countries like India, Holland, Germany, France, Ethiopia, Italy and Israel.
The day begins with the organization of the room made by the teacher along with the assistance of a day helper. Each day, one child has the task of helping the group that day. Candles are lit, incense and flowers are placed in the room, and music is put on – it all generates a loving and calm climate.
The day begins with a circle of conversation, meditation, stretching, and songs. The whole room was decorated with yellow on that day and the children were also invited to dress in yellow. Over the course of a few weeks different colors and different qualities will be worked out in the classroom. Yellow brings the quality of aspiration and the children talk a little about it. In the circle each child is invited to introduce himself to me singing his name and clapping, however he wishes. And they all burst into laughter at the sound of a name as different as “Tati.”
After the circle, each child is invited to choose a yellow flower (among the flowers that are arranged on the table) that they like and express that flower in a painting. And so the day goes on with arts, crafts, outdoor games, dance class, relaxation and many other subtleties that do not need to be shared all at once right? 🙂
I leave my first day of observation at Auroville Kindergarten with my heart grateful for the opportunity to embark on another journey, certainly full of learning, and with a mind full of doubts, anxieties and expectations. Here I will volunteer in the next 90 days with the Blue Group’s 5 year old children.
Auroville Kindergarten is a kindergarten school founded in 1984 in the city of Auroville, India. The school follows the proposal of Integral Education, developed by Mirra Alfassa, and serves about 60 children of more than 10 different nationalities.
To better understand the context of this school, be sure to research and read a little about Auroville. It is a part of the universe that is worth knowing.