Conversation Classes with Students

V. Arun


Conversation classes is a period normally held once a week in every class. It is called circle time, culture class etc. In this class the students and the class teacher and if possible other teachers teaching the class sit together, in a circle, either inside the class or under a tree and have the space for sharing. There is no fixed agenda, except to have conversation space. The topic of discussion can be brought up by anybody. Normally, once a topic is decided, the topic or theme is followed through the whole period.

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This year make a classroom in the wild

V. Arun

Class act: Learning by direct observation calls for an observant and curious mind and some  recording skills

The best classroom is the outside world — readily available and for free 

* It is the role of teachers to lead students to magic wells  and set them off on their own learning journeys 

* To study about orchids and bromeliads in books and  then to witness them in person in their natural  environment is always exhilarating * Once students and teachers learn to use the world as  their classroom, the opportunities are endless

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Time with Nature in Wayanad 2021

V. Arun


Being a school, which spends a lot of time in nature, during the restricted movement of corona times, the time spent in nature gained special significance. It became more precious and healing. As interactions through Zoom and such media were becoming the norm across the world, we in our corner realised ever more the value of being in a tangible space in real time and experiencing the world around us through all our senses. We spent almost a whole day every week in nature as we had always done but the day grew in importance.  

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Satan, Sin, Inji and the turtle walkers

As we approached the Valmiki Nagar stretch of beach, we peered towards the buildings anxiously, looking for our friends. We had already collected eggs from two turtle nests, and had more than 300 eggs between the two of us. It was 1 in the morning, and we were tired and sleepy but all of this vanished and our hearts filled with joy and affection as we saw them running towards us.

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Down Memory Beach

Entering the turtle world

V. Arun

I first learnt of the turtle walks conducted by the Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN) during the first year of its establishment. I had gone with a cousin to his friend’s house and there was Smitha leaving for a turtle walk at 10 pm. I was pleasantly shocked. This was 1990 and in conservative Chennai, here was a girl going off with some boys on an all-night assignment!

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Action, reaction, and inaction: what makes the difference?

V. Arun

I frequently ponder over the theme of this issue. Why do some people feel a need to act while others do not? Also, how do people choose their scale of action. Is it chance? Personality? Does it have to with the influences? I have not really found the answer, but I will share my own journey and through that try and explore what made me respond to life in the way that I have.

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Marudam in Song and Dance

We are delighted to share Marudam in a song and dance !

Recently, our friends Krishnapriya, Naren and Vignesh collaborated with Marudam for their musical project, Anbenum Peruveli, concieved by Onemai Foundation.

The project is a musical exploration by singer Sanjay Subrahmanyan, in presenting the poetry of the 19th Century Tamil saint Ramalinga Adigal, popularly known as Vallalar, as an original and new musical collaboration with the composer Sean Roldan.

One of the six parts, Vallalar, of the music album was shot in Marudam in December 2023.

Teacher-student relationships as a factor of socialization – Some ruminations from a small school

V. Arun

Schools perhaps play the most significant role in the process of socializing a young person in their formative years. The other key players are obviously the family and society itself. As a teacher I am wondering about the role of socialization in schools. Within school too there are different players—teachers, peers, the culture of the space—all of which play important roles. In this article I am reflecting on my role as a teacher in our small alternative spaces and comparing it with my own experience as a student.

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The landscape slowly settled on us. Children flowered, and opened up. The forests we visited started unfurling for us. The twenty-one days we spent amongst the ancient mountains and forests of the Western Ghats was an intense journey of learning, unlearning, and discovery for us at various levels. Within oneself, and of the natural world.