I remembered chatting with a mom, who has three children from three to 13 years old, during lunch about Singapore education system and the attitude of students and parents in our competitive result-driven environment.

The stories I heard about a student mentoring another weaker student wrongly on purpose to get a competitive edge, and was too appalling. Even parents are in this game of competition against one another when they are not willing to share where they bring their children for enrichment classes for fear of other children gaining an edge over theirs.

As the moms chatted, the mom’s boy who is 13 years old told me, “It is so hard to find true friend in school.” I was so sad to hear that from the lips of a child. Isn’t friendship among the children supposed to be simple and pure?

In the midst of pursuing academic excellence, have the children lost something that are very precious to them? How our future generation will turn out will depend largely on how and what we, teachers and parents, teach and guide them now.

Here is an amazing documentary, “Children Full of Life” that caught me shedding tears when I saw how one teacher can make so much difference in the lives of the 10 year-olds and the way the students support and care for one another was very admirable. He not just fills the brains of his students with knowledge, he teaches them about empathy and the meaning of life, which is so lacking in our society today.

Mr. Kanamori has a burning passion and love to reach the hearts of the 10 year-olds in the way he conducts his lessons. This kind of education touches the hearts and I believe will remain in the students’ hearts all their lives.

“Let people live in your hearts.” – Toshiro Kanamori

Synopsis of this film:

Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students not only how to be students, but how to live. He gives them lessons on teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying.

In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori.

He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates.

Toshiro is an amazing example of what all teachers across the world should be like. He truly understands what teaching children is all about and certainly made a positive difference in the lives of these 10 year olds.

What are your thoughts after watching this film?