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Child's play: a story from India: one difficult thing.

In the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, in the valleys of Almora, a teacher works with young children, She sits under the big tree in the village where she teaches reading, writing and math. When the children are older, they must travel far away to a boarding school where they continue their education.

The teachers at the boarding school are pleased to see the children come. "These children are so responsible and self-controlled," the boarding school teachers say to each other. "I wonder why they seem so different?"

One day, one of the boarding school teachers said: "Let's travel to the state of U.P. and find the teacher and the children under the tree in the valleys of Almora. We'll ask her, `What happens here to produce such caring and self-disciplined children?"

When they found the teacher, they asked: "What happens here to produce such caring and self-disciplined children?"

The teacher hesitated, thinking. Finally, she answered: "I can't think of anything special that happens here--unless it's the `one difficult thing.' Every Friday afternoon when we have completed our work, I challenge the children to think of `one difficult thing' we can do together. The children choose things that are more challenging than I would pick. Even though they are very poor, they may give away a favourite piece of clothing because another child in the village really needs a sweater. Or, they may hear that someone's mother has hurt her back, so they go out to her garden on the terraces and hoe her potatoes under the hot sun. These things are hard for the children to do, but they accomplish great things when they do them together."
COPYRIGHT 1997 Presbyterian Record
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Cawsey, Kathy; Bregman, Marty; Henderson, Dorothy
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Date:Feb 1, 1997
Words:280
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