I am Tazeen Siddiqui, an educationist and a trainer. I started my career at a pre-primary school, however, my love for teaching started when I was in class 1. My mother had opened a school for the kids of garbage pickers in our home’s garage and that was the age when I first experienced the magic of sharing knowledge and the joy of learning.

I remember we didn’t buy a car for many years because my father used to say that our garage is being used the ‘right way’ and we must continue doing it as it helps children learn and contributes to their future! That’s the best and the simplest definition of empowerment I could ever hear.

I was in pre-primary school then but I observed how simple fun-filled, playful activities helped them understand simple logic. I observed and learned how a child’s heart and mind reacts and responds to acceptance and disapproval.

Years later when I became the principal of a school, on my first day in a class of high school children I heard a boy hiding and complimenting me “beautiful”. When I looked back at the class and tried to find out who he was, the entire class fell into silence. They thought I would punish them but I wanted to break their fear. I wanted to convert it into a beautiful moment of learning.

I asked everyone in the classroom to write an essay on “Being Beautiful”. The idea was to channelize their sense of mischief into a precious moment of learning and I received wonderful expressions in the forms of many essays.

In another incident, a child hit another child. Instead of punishing him, I asked the offender to take care of the child he hit for a month. I joyously observed how this simple exercise transformed the child. My idea was to channelize the child’s conflicted emotions into love and care.

These and many other similar experiences helped me in training teachers and principals across India. We need to make sure our kids are nurtured with the right approach towards life.

Later I realized that it is important to share my experience not only with teachers in urban areas but also with teachers in rural regions. Soon I began conducting Skype sessions with them.

All these experiences became the basis of my research on multiple-intelligences (called Multiple Intelligences 54), an extended 9 Multiple intelligences theory of Howard Gardeners. I presented my Paper on “ Multiple Intelligences 54” in Harvard University at W.E.I. International Educational conference.

Pic Courtesy: Tazeen Siddiqui

I believe when we have aspiration in our hearts, vision in our eyes and dedication in our approach and actions, we can un-veal real wonders of the world.With this vision, I decided to launch Dr. Kalam International Vision India Reader, a platform for principals from across India to share their best practices.

I was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in education and I’m currently working on my book ‘Know Me Maa’ that tries to explore what a child has to say to the world.

On this Women’s day, I want to share my journey of life and want to emphasise that learning is about ‘understanding things’ and it’s not just the ability to read and write. God gave us two eyes because he wants us to understand and watch the world in multiple directions and understand what’s good from bad for ourselves.

To know more about my life journey into education, log onto Jai Mansha, a forum of over 300 principals and school directors from across India.

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NTD India with this special series of articles, opinions and soulful sharings, celebrates the essence of being a woman on the International Women’s Day. With a sea of compassion, hope and humanity we believe each of these stories will help us to reflect, relate, be informed and enlighten the inherent wisdom.

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