I don’t know how big this world
is, but it must be pretty huge. In this big world, there are many
smaller worlds of various shapes, just as in the vast sky, there are
many twinkling stars, some larger and brighter than others. The sky is
a great world, and the stars are small worlds. Our school is also a
world with over a hundred people in it; in this big world there are
different classes, each of which is a small world. Perhaps this analogy
does not make much sense to you. Let me give an example.
At Instilling Goodness Elementary
School, there are eleven students in the second and third grade class.
This small world of six girls and five boys (seven to eight years old)
includes the future leaders of seven nations. They have come together
in a classroom whose area is ten tatami mats. One might say the world
is big, but it’s not really that big; say it’s small, but it’s not
really small, either. They come from America, England, China,
Palestine, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Despite their young age,
they are full of interesting stories to tell. Each one is like a living
textbook, and just reading each other’s “books” keeps them very busy.
They have four teachers who teach them the ordinary curriculum, and
they also participate in learning activities led by enthusiastic
parents. The children themselves also bring their own learning
resources—baskets of food, clothing, and other daily necessities—which
they generously share with one another. In the bilingual environment,
their varied accents present no hindrance to the development of close
friendships. The family-like atmosphere of the classroom is a cultural
melting pot in which mutual learning takes place between teachers and
A little story contains a
significant teaching. In a small classroom, little hands continuously
turn the wheel of life in the universe.