A Personalized Curriculum
In addition to being personally involved with his students,
Nikumbh excels at creating a unique and engaging curriculum. On his
first day on the job, Nikumbh dresses up as a clown and enters the
classroom playing a flute and singing. The chorus of his song translates
as, “So free your mind, spread your wings, let the colors fly!” Unlike
other teachers, Nikumbh creates an interactive classroom, and all his
students sing and dance with him. Additionally, after his performance,
he allows the students to paint or draw anything they want, as
mentioned previously, a contrast with the instructions of the previous
art teacher. Nikumbh wants his students to free their imaginations and
not be constrained by the impositions of strict teachers. He allows the
kids to go outside and explore nature to influence their art. Nikumbh
recognizes that children want to have fun and use their imaginations,
which is limited by the typical Indian teaching style.
Nikumbh also personalizes the curriculum for Ishaan. When he
first uncovers that Ishaan has dyslexia, he describes the symptoms of
dyslexia to the class through poetry. He follows the description with a
series of people who have the disability, naming Albert Einstein,
Leonardo Di Vinci, and Thomas Edison as examples. The shots of
Ishaan’s expression during this scene show complete shock because he
did not realize other people experienced these same struggles. Nikumbh
goes out of his way to ensure that Ishaan feels normal to pull him out
of his slump. During his sessions helping Ishaan overcome his dyslexia,
Nikumbh personalizes the lessons to meet Ishaan’s needs and his
interests. For example, to improve his handwriting, he has Ishaan write
in sand and paint letters, which coincides with his love of art.
Nikumbh’s one-on-one sessions with Ishaan drastically change Ishaan’s
academic performance and improve his reputation with his other
teachers.
Bad Teachers of Bollywood
Ram Shankar Nikumbh is the ultimate “good” teacher in Taare
Zameen Par, especially in comparison to the other teachers in the film.
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