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Mohan Singh Panwar

Class: 8th

Home Village: Anjanisain

Age: 30

APV taught me how to respect myself and the law of nature, that I am complete and whole. APV is a model where teachers live together in a community and where conscious evolution is the center of gravity. Where the deep values get seeded by the lifestyle through which many skills get shared and many kinds of personalities gel together. The main force behind all the positivity and learning is meditation, where each member of the community is deeply rooted in self-evolution.

In education, a picture is given where a teacher is supposed to know everything, and that students are supposed to gather information from their teachers. But my experience at APV tells me that children are often much more sensitive and intelligent than their teachers. The most important thing that I have learned from children is how to live fully in the present moment. Their innocence keeps me very close to them and gives me an opportunity to be my true self. I realized that all I had to do was to create an atmosphere that could help children bloom without pushing them. The students brought out the creativity in me, and with their encouragement I started to learn how to play the tabla, sing, and how to be a friend and teacher with them.

I realized that if you are learning everyday than that keeps your mind fresh and alive. But what happens the moment one becomes a teacher is that one becomes authoritative and complacent, leading to laziness and boredom. In contrast, teachers at APV are here because they want to learn first and foremost about themselves. After all, education is not all about textbooks and theories – it is about experiencing the true nature of all things and the self.

Pooja

Class: 4th

Age: 22

How did you come to APV?

 I was a student here, and I really liked it. I thought it was a unique place, and I still think that. I knew, when I graduated, that I wanted to come back to APV.

What is special about APV?

 APV has all the necessary things of life- music, meditation, mindfulness, true community, In other schools you do not find that. There is knowledge in APV.

Do you find APV different as a teacher, rather than as a student?

I don’t consider myself just a teacher. I feel as if I am in a lot of ways still a student, still learning at the school. If anything, I facilitate learning with the other students. The only difference I feel now is a sense of responsibility. I have to take the other students with me in learning- as just a student I was only responsible to myself.

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning at APV?

Very light. No stress.

 

Shanti Mamgain

Class: 5th

Home Village: Dobe

Age: 34

I didn’t know about APV, and that APV was a different type of school that was more creative. My aim was to teach children and earn money. When I began at APV, I was amazed to see music in the school, children doing meditation, and more practical methods of teaching. I had never seen such things in my life before, and these new ways of teaching were incredible for me.

The things which inspired me a lot were meditation and teaching with practical methods. When I started doing meditation, I felt my life began to wake up. I felt that the way that I was living before, I was a sleepwalker. Meditation changed my life a lot. Now I feel that this is my new life, that I was born again on this earth. Now, meditation is my first priority and other things are secondary.

I was not very interested in teaching. Honestly, I just wanted to earn money. But when I started teaching more creatively, it was amazing how deeply children learned with practical methods. Whenever I teach with real life methods, both the children and myself enjoy ourselves. Meditation helps a lot in teaching. If there is any problem in class or with one of my children, we do meditation together, and observe ourselves together. Then the problem gets solved very quickly. The children help me as much as I help the children, and we grow a lot together.

It is my experience that when we do group sittings in community, it is very energizing. We all become one. Instead of doing meditation alone, it is more effective as a group. We learn a lot from each other. We work, meditate, and take care of the community together. It’s amazing and we enjoy it a lot. Sometimes it is difficult to live with different people, but meditation helps us to understand each other and our differences.

 

Sharda

Class: KG & 1st

How did you come to APV?

I was a student here. I loved it and wanted to come back.

What was special about APV?

The student-teacher relationship is very strong. There’s a lot of love and compassion.

Do you find APV different as a teacher, rather than as a student?

When I was a student I was very carefree- run here, jump there, play everywhere. Whereas now, as a teacher, there are responsibilities. You are responsible for the children, but at the same time it is still fun to be with them.

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning at APV?

The first thing that comes to mind is ‘How am I going to live my day?’ Being mindful of that.

 

Suman Khoyal

Class: 3rd & 4th

Home Village: Ransi

Age: 27

Why I am in APV, how did I come here, and how do I feel here.

Before coming to APV my life was different. I too used to think about bread, butter, house, and marriage. I used to wonder if marriage was really the only alternative for a girl. I thought that if I was to live in a village, than getting married was necessary for life there. But my heart would say something else. I used to dream that I would runaway from my village, to see the outside world. The dream of leaving my village then came true. When I left, there were ups and downs, but when I found APV was when a huge change entered my life.

Music.

My first journey started with music as I loved music since childhood. I could never have imagined the kind of music children of APV sing and play. The first day that I heard music in morning assembly my eyes filled with tears. I tried to stop them, but I couldn’t. So sweet was the melody and rhythms of all the instruments and the voices of the children, my mind became overjoyed.

Meditation.

At first I didn’t understand meditation. I used to think why do we sit here with closed eyes? Is this meditation? Within one week I started to feel something inside. I saw changes in myself. With the energy I received in meditation I was able to make progress in areas where I sued to be weak such as reading and writing. Meditation means going on an inner journey where we begin to know ourselves. What to say and when to say things is revealed through the power of meditation.

Community.

I love community because community is a mirror for our behaviors where we can see ourselves clearly. Living in community provides a place to know ourselves. When people live together and share themselves, they begin to learn about each other and grow together. In community we live with selflessness, balance, patience, love, and full participation.

Education.

Knowledge is that which liberates. The first aspect of education is meditation, music and community. Everyone has their unique place, no one greater, no one lesser. APV embraces the importance of the student-teacher relationship.  Sometimes the teacher is leading and sometimes the pupil in an environment where they become friends to explore new activities and ways of learning. In APV, children write from their own experiences and learn mathematics in creative ways that they enjoy greatly. Teachers get encouraged by the children to come up with new creative activities. The thing that I like the most in APV is that we teach through dramas, practical methods and activities. The teachers also participate in the dramas with the children so that they can be fearless.

Babita

Class: 2nd

 How did you come to APV?

My cousin was a teacher here, so I heard a lot about APV and I was curious about it. I wanted to come and see it. I was told all these things about APV- ‘the students are friends with the teachers, there’s a community where they meditate, where there’s music- but when I came I found it even better than I had imagined. The teachers really lived like friends with the students, and learned from the students. And I was impressed by the community life. There was a lot of sharing and music and compassion. It is a unique school.

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning at APV?

There are hardly any thoughts in my mind when I wake up, but when there are, they are about going with the flow of the day.

Kavita

Class: 7th & 8th 

 How did you come to APV?

I found it on the internet. I applied to teach at APV and some other schools, and Mohan-sir called me and asked if I would like to come to APV. I told him I would think about it and came to look over the school. It just seemed very unique, very different in its study methods and in its philosophy. The music, the meditation, being so close to nature. It was a very free environment. So I said yes, and here I am.

How do you feel now that you are here at APV?

I feel great. I feel very lucky to live here. Being here makes me want to do something new, something creative. I want to open another school like APV; take new techniques and methods that are happening here and apply them to another environment.

Do you feel that you have changed at APV?

Six or seven months ago I wasn’t feeling very good. I was working at another school for a year, and it was like a factory. I went to school, I went home- that was it. I wanted to do something new.

What is your favorite teaching method at APV?

 I love teaching math and science by practical methods. When I was learning math and science in school we hardly ever approached it practically. Now I feel as if I am learning math and science again by teaching the students in this way.

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning at APV?

Every morning is new for me, and every morning I want to do something new. I want to do my best.