GRATITUDE – It is that time of the Year!

Kids, especially those in high school, face an incredible amount of pressure to succeed. Parental expectations to achieve excellence in academics, do well in extracurriculars, find their purpose and calling — all while balancing an intense, burgeoning social environment, can be overwhelming. Add to that hormonal and physical changes, peer pressure, non-stop digital media streams, social and political environment, incidents at home and outside— students can lose sight of all the good going on in their lives.



From a parent


“As a mother of two teenagers, I am always challenging them to get outside of their comfort zones, take on new responsibilities, set goals and achieve them. I fear I might be making them feel that they’re not good enough as they are!”


“I want them to know how much I love and appreciate them as they are.”



From a teacher


“I’m enormously grateful for my students. First of all, they put up with my idiosyncrasies. They laugh at my terrible jokes. They put their faith in my instruction and reward me with kindness and gratitude years after”.


“I’m also grateful for the way my students inspire me. I’m grateful for the relationships we build, the memories we share, and for those moments when they allow me a front row seat to their joy.”


The close of the year as the sun sleeps in longer and the morning air cools, is the perfect time to remind all those we have in our lives – especially our kids, how grateful we are for them. Here are some thoughts on how we can do it.


What Parents Can Do at Home


  1. Let your kids know that you love and support them. Oftentimes we get caught up in pushing them o to be the best versions of themselves. We want them to be chirpy, humorous, planned, measured, diligent, helpful, focused, fun-loving, healthy, well-rested, hard-working – all at the same time. Pause, and praise them simply for being who they are.
  2. Make a mention of positive behavior and praise them for it. Tell them specifically how it helped. This places value on being a genuinely good person.
  3. Send a text or leave a note on their desk. This small gesture can make their day and reminds them how much you care.
  4. Show up to their big event or day. In our fast-paced life, we are ever ready to pass on the baton to the next available family member or friend, and run. Being present means more to them than you know.
  5. Make their favourite food. Surprise them with their favourite meal or take the time to cook it together! Things can get hectic with busy schedules, but bonding over a shared meal together is a great way to spread the love and enjoy each other’s company.
  6. Give your child the gift of a new experience! Even if it’s just exploring a different part of the neighbourhood or watching something together on TV, spending quality time together helps strengthen your relationship and may teach you both something new in the process.


What Teachers Can Do in the Classroom


  1. Have your students write down a list of who and what they are thankful for. Students can easily get caught up in all the noise and lose sight of all the good in their life. The more positive emotions they experience, the more flexible, creative, resilient, and socially integrated they will be.
  2. Place an empty jar next to blank strips of paper with pens/pencils and have students write when they have felt grateful for something or have a positive experience. Dump out the jar and read a few notes randomly picked, to reflect on some great highlight moments!
  3. Have your students talk through any passage or activity in their lives in detail-for example, getting ready for school, getting to school, a visit to a store. Have them focus on the different helpers, the visible and invisible ones (like the person who cleans the school-van before the driver and the kids get to the scene). Emphasize on how it is not easy to thank or help these people in return, but ‘paying it forward’ is a great way and the ripple effect it can have is magical!
  4. Have students pass around a piece of paper with their name at the top and have any one of their peers write a positive note about the student on their piece of paper.
  5. Take time to brainstorm ways your students can get more involved in the community or campus. Doing something positive for others can be a great learning experience for students, adding meaning to their daily routine and building deeper connections.


Spreading kindness and gratitude is always a good idea! Give thanks. Give love.

Festivals – Taking them up a Notch!

Festivals are a great way to celebrate heritage, culture and traditions. They are meant for us to rejoice special moments and emotions in our lives with our loved ones. They play an important role in adding structure to our social lives, and connect us with our families and backgrounds. They give us a distraction from our day to day routine, and inspire us to remember the important things and moments in life.


Festivals can be national, religious, seasonal, social, seasonal or thematic. They all serve the purpose of bringing happiness to our lives, and strengthen our sense of community.


All festivals are cultural in one way or another. India and festivals go hand-in-hand, with various colourful festivals that are celebrated all around the year. We have grown up around them and have embraced them as a part of our lives.


At Hari Shree, celebrating festivals is an integral part of the active curriculum. They pave way for learning and also building a strong cultural belief. They are an opportunity to bring out creativity, encourage camaraderie, and encourage creativity, develop organizing skills, collaboration, team work, sharing, environmental sensitivity and an appreciation that the world belongs to all. Hari Shree believes in taking it up a notch in more ways than one. Be it identifying a festival that has not been in its books before, adding an intellectual dimension, promoting a creative spirit, honouring people around or touching lives/making a difference, curiosity, abundant learning, energy and activity take centre-stage. In the background of the global perspective the school wishes to adopt, celebrating festivals provide the right platform for the students to become responsible citizens.

Some unique things about the Hari Shree festivals-




UTSAV is an annual event in Hari Shree, that celebrates Bharatiya culture, heritage and traditions. This immersive learning experience is aimed at kindling an interest to know more about our civilization.



Utsav is about exploring and experiencing culture through field visits, lecture demonstrations, seminars, workshops, short films and interactive sessions with experts from diverse fields. It is an opportunity to understand and reflect ‘why we do what we do’ and imbibe traditional wisdom, which has stood the test of time and which is being increasingly lost in a dynamically changing world.


Students are encouraged to choose projects to research based on their specific areas of interest and discussions with like-minded peers. They are encouraged to transform their classrooms into culturally rich museums with exhibitions, informative write-ups and display of musical instruments. The aim is to transcend the scope of their project and continue to provoke thoughts, ideas, questions, analyses and perspectives going forward. The festival concludes with the confidence that the next year’s will come soon enough to take a deeper plunge into India’s rich cultural heritage.




Navratri is celebrated in a festive manner every year. The students let their creative juices flow by arranging golus adorned with hand-made dolls, dolls made out of eco-friendly materials, dolls from waste, dolls that have things in common with other countries and cultures etc. Cultural programs, games and puzzle solving activities are orgnized around the thematic golus. The whole school ushers in Dussehra, dressed in colourful, traditional attire, dancing to the rhythm of dandia music.




The festival of Pongal is another much-awaited event at Hari Shree. The whole school comes together to celebrate with much pomp. Pongal is cooked on a traditional stove, and students cheer as the milk in the pot boils. Sugarcane is distributed and a cow and a calf are brought in, invoking the true spirit of the harvest festival.




Varnajala is the school’s annual art festival. The preparations for this event begin months in advance, with students from primary school all the way upto grade 12 creating their pieces – art, craft and sculpture. Teachers, staff and the helper Akkas and Annas contribute their work as well. The corridors, staircases and classrooms are lined with paintings, each unique. In spite of the pandemic, the cheer of Varnajala was not missed, taking the showcase online as a virtual exhibition.

Whenever we think or hear about the word festival, automatically a smile comes on our face. We start thinking of clothes we would wear, the food we would eat and the gifts we would exchange. But we would all agree that celebrating a special day or a spirit in school means much more than that to the child.