Teacher Profile: Tsewang Lhamo

In this week’s story, Tsewang Lhamo—our class 2 teacher at Tergar School Kathmandu—shares about her experience. Tsewang Lhamo has been with us since the beginning and we have watched her grow as a teacher throughout her time. Please enjoy!

Growing up in the Nubri Valley, a Buddhist border-region of Tibet where Mingyur Rinpoche hails from, my school experience was quite traditional. We covered basic reading, writing, and memorization skills, math and science, and some social studies. There was a large focus on examinations. This approach left me feeling like I never had a chance to discover my own skills, needs and interests.

Teaching at Tergar School Kathmandu according to Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s visionary approach that blends Tibetan Buddhism with contemporary approaches to education provides me with hope and inspiration. As opposed to rote memorization, we emphasize experiential learning through working on applicable knowledge and skills, and encouraging our students to bring forth their own ideas. The outcome is a much more transformative experience than what I was exposed to in my early years. 

At first, implementing this new approach was challenging for me. My habits were strong. Yet, together with my colleagues, we agreed to work toward this new way of teaching, embodying the mantra: “never give up, work hard and help each other.”  

What I notice most about my students as they go through their daily practices of meditation and dharma teachings is their growing sense of self-confidence. I am inspired by their growing self  awareness and ability to respect and support each other. Often in class, my students work in small groups, supporting each other and opening up about their difficulties and challenges while exploring a broad range of topics.  

In a recent science class, we learned about the eye sense organ and our ability to see. This included learning how to care for our eyes, the physical anatomy of the eye, as well as a range of art projects depicting the eye. The children were also taught basic meditation practices that worked with the sense of sight. Overall, this integrated approach was very enriching for them. 

Most importantly, I love bonding with my students. These connections motivate and energize me to pursue more in the classroom. I show up for my students. At the core, I feel my job is to always support my students’ journey to be good human beings and instill in them the courage to “never give up.”

Tsewang Lhamo